View the complete text of Act 56

ACT NO. 56

DUI; Refusal; Enforcement

This act creates the crime of refusal to take a required breath test if a person has been previously convicted of DUI or if there is an accident resulting in injury or death of another person.

It limits the time a person being processed for DUI has to consult with an attorney to 30 minutes from the time of the initial attempt to contact the attorney regardless of whether a consultation took place.

If a person is involved in an accident resulting in serious injury or death and refuses to take a breath test, a law enforcement officer can apply to a judge for a search warrant to obtain a sample of the person’s blood.

The penalty for a third or subsequent DUI, refusal, or civil suspension is increased to life.

The Safe Highway Accident Reduction Project (SHARP) in each county is required to run at least six sobriety checkpoints prior to February 28, 1998. Money from the governor’s highway safety program will fund the DUI checkpoints as well as purchase two mobile evidentiary breath alcohol instruments and increase the presence of law enforcement officers on Vermont’s highways for the principal purpose of detecting and apprehending violators of the DUI laws.

There is a $50.00 surcharge for refusing to take a breath test, which will be used to fund a statewide 24-hour legal services coverage seven days a week by the public defender.

A person who is convicted of a violation of a DUI law will have to successfully complete CRASH and a treatment program if therapy is required by the driver rehabilitation program director.

On January 15, 1998, the director of the governor’s highway safety program will report to the general assembly on the effectiveness of the sobriety checkpoints.

$30,000.00 is appropriated for FY 98 from the general fund and $10,000.00 from the public defender special fund for the purpose of providing the 24-hour legal services coverage.

Effective Date: August 1, 1997