State Laws

Delaware DUI Laws

     

Delaware DUI Prosecution
Driving under the influence charges can be prosecuted in two different ways in Delaware. The first form of prosecution is called per se law. Per se law states that an individual was driving while being intoxicated. Those with blood alcohol content percentages above the legal level of 0.08 percent will be prosecuted. The prosecuting attorney will only need to prove to the court that an individual was intoxicated and his or her blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.

Other prosecution requires the prosecuting attorney to prove to the court that an individual was impaired while driving. He or she will need to show evidence of this impairment, which can include breath tests, physical appearance of the individual, driving patterns, and blood alcohol content. At times even if an individual's blood alcohol content was above the legal level, an individual may not be considered impaired.

Driving Under the Influence Basics
All drivers are to submit to an implied consent law that states that any driver will take a chemical test upon request. Refusal to submit to a blood, urine, or breath test will result in license suspension for six months. Refusing to take a chemical test will also imply that the individual is guilty, and the court will take note.

Delaware has a zero tolerance law for minors who drive while intoxicated. All those under the age of twenty-one will submit to testing. Those with blood alcohol content percentages on the scale will be arrested, especially if the levels are at 0.02 percent. This zero tolerance law give law enforcement the ability to arrest any minor who is intoxicated, no matter the blood alcohol content percentage.

High blood alcohol content levels will have increased punishments in Delaware. If an individual has a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or greater, normally 0.20 percent, he or she will have enhanced punishments. These can include added incarceration time, increased fines, and longer time periods for driver's license suspension.

Delaware DUI Punishments
Punishments and convictions in Delaware are based on the number of prior offenses. However if another individual was injured due to drunk driving or a minor was in the motor vehicle at the time of the arrest, the punishments will be greater, despite a first offense. A first-time DUI offense can earn three months of driver's license suspension, mandatory alcohol education program and treatment or assessment, and the possibility of having an ignition interlock device installed.

A second DUI offense can earn a possible ignition interlock device installed, driver's license suspension for one year, and alcohol education and treatment or assessment. A third DUI offense can earn alcohol education and treatment or assessment, a possibility of an ignition interlock device, and eighteen months of driver's license suspension.

Each offense may also include community service, incarceration, and fines that are determined by circumstance and prosecution.

Confiscated Motor Vehicles
Some punishments can include motor vehicle confiscation for a particular time period or on a permanent basis. Those who are repeated DUI offenders are subject to this punishment. The department of motor vehicles or another law enforcement agency will seize the vehicle upon conviction. Payment of fines and completion of jail sentencing can allow a vehicle to be returned.

See also:
Delaware Felony
Delaware Gun Laws
Delaware Bankruptcy
Delaware Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Delaware Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Delaware Lemon Law External link (opens in new window)