Delaware DUI & DWI
In the state of Delaware, if you are behind the wheel, operating or in control of a vehicle, off-highway car or moped while intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs then be aware that you can face DUI charges.
What is the Delaware Implied Consent Law?
By driving in Delaware, you are legally bound to the concept of implied consent which entails that if suspicion of DUI arises, a chemical test must be conducted to determine your level of impairment.
If you fail to take the test, then severe consequences will follow the loss of license and/or suspension of driving privileges for a given period.
- 1 year for a 1st offense,
- 18 months for a 2nd offense and
- 24 months for the 3rd subsequent offense
How do Delaware officers check your blood alcohol concentration?
If a chemical test reveals that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher, or the presence of any drug, prescription medication, or illegal substance in your system, it’s enough for a DUI conviction.
Even if the sample indicates BAC levels are slightly below .08%, you may still be arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
What are the DUI Administrative Procedures? And how does it work?
Drivers who are arrested for DUI face two separate proceedings: an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing and a criminal court case.
In many states, the driver must request an ALS hearing within a short time after the arrest. If you win the hearing, your driving privileges will be reinstated.
However, even if you lose the hearing, you still have the right to contest the suspension in court. Because of the complex nature of these cases, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.
In the event of an unfavorable decision at your administrative hearing, or if you don’t submit a request for one, your driver’s license and/or driving privileges will be immediately revoked due to:
- Three months for the first offense
- Twelve months for the second offense
- Eighteen months for the third or subsequent offense
The consequences for Refusing a Chemical Test are as follows:
- Twelve months for the first offense
- Eighteen months for the second offense
- Twenty-Four months for the third or subsequent offense
Criminal Case Hearing
What is the First Offense Election Program?
While attending your arraignment, you can opt to sign up for a First Offense Election program instead of having a trial.
By submitting an application, you accept guilt and relinquish your right to a speedy trial. Furthermore, if you have already requested an administrative hearing from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or plan to do so later on, your request will be nullified.
The court will alert the DMV of your ultimate decision. As a result, your license and/or driving privilege will be revoked for a minimum period of one year if you choose First Offense Election or whatever length is required due to an administrative action involving probable cause or refusal of chemical tests.
If you are eligible, it is possible to apply for a First Offense Election (you can only request this option once).
- A prior DUI conviction.
- Accumulate three or more traffic offenses within a two-year period.
- Inflicted harm upon another individual.
- For individuals whose blood alcohol content (BAC) registers at .15% or higher, the consequences can be devastating.
- Were you driving without a valid license or had your driver’s license been revoked or suspended at the time of the arrest?
- Driving a vehicle with an underage passenger while impaired is a criminal offense.
If you are arrested for DUI or DWI in Delaware, it is important to understand your rights and the consequences you may face. The penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe, so if you have been charged with DUI, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney who can help you fight the charges.
An experienced lawyer will know how to challenge the evidence against you and may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed. If you have been charged with DUI, contact our office today for a free consultation.