Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

Dual Penalties Under Delaware DUI Laws


Many motorists are aware that Delaware law enforcement is aggressive in pursuing those they suspect of drunk driving, and officers will make arrests when a driver violates the law. According to official DUI statistics from the State of Delaware, there are more than 4,000 people arrested every year for driving while impaired. Police will charge a person with DUI if their blood alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent, as well as when a motorist exhibits signs of intoxication.

Of those arrested for drunk driving, 88 percent were facing DUI charges for the first time. Therefore, you may not realize that Delaware laws are extremely tough on those who are convicted of drunk driving. In fact, those who are arrested for DUI will face dual penalties from the two different types of proceedings in a drunk driving case. You can trust a Wilmington DUI defense attorney to fight for your rights in both cases, but some background will help you understand what to expect.

Criminal Case for Drunk Driving: DUI laws in Delaware make it a crime to drive while intoxicated, and even a first-time conviction could lead to harsh penalties. A judge could order up to 6 months in jail, plus fines ranging from $500 to $1,500. The punishment increases in severity for subsequent drunk driving offenses:

  • A second DUI conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by a mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail, though the court may sentence up to 18 months’ incarceration. The fines increase to $750 to $2,500.
  • Subsequent drunk driving convictions are felonies, so a judge must order a mandatory minimum of at least 1 to 2 years in prison.
  • For a seventh DUI conviction, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is 10 years and the maximum is 15 years’ imprisonment. The fines range from $10,000 to $15,000.

 Administrative Case Affecting Your Driver’s License: There is a second proceeding involved when you are arrested for DUI, and the case involves your driver’s license. Always remember that driving is a privilege extended to you by the government of Delaware. Officials can take away this privilege if you violate rules that apply to your license. DUI is one instance where your license could be suspended, but you can also lose your privileges from having too many traffic violations or outstanding fines.

Upon an arrest for violating drunk driving laws, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for a minimum of 3 months. If you are found guilty of DUI, the suspension period could be up to a year or more. These penalties are in addition to any jail time or fines imposed in the criminal case.

Get Help from a Skilled Delaware Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

The dual penalties from the criminal and administrative cases make your situation look grim, but defenses are available. To learn more about your options, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica at 302.600.1262 or via our website. We can set up a consultation at our Wilmington, DE office to discuss the details of your case.



MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2017 - 2024 Michael W. Modica, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab