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Introduced by Representative Donaghy of Poultney

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Motor vehicles; conditional operator's licenses

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to establish conditional operator’s licenses, which may be issued by the court in cases of undue hardship, for travel to limited places such as work, drug or alcohol treatment, school, or a doctor’s office by a person whose license has been suspended for a first DUI violation.  


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. chapter 9, subchapter 3A is added to read:

Subchapter 3A.  Conditional Licenses


For a first violation of section 1201 of this title, the court may issue a conditional license if it finds that:

(1)  the defendant has enrolled in the alcohol and driving education program required by subdivision 1209a(a)(1) of this title; and

(2)  the suspension would create an undue hardship for the defendant or the defendant’s dependents.


The court shall direct the terms of the conditional license, which shall be limited to trips en route to and from:

(1)  The holder’s place of employment, and, if the holder’s place of employment requires the operation of a motor vehicle, during the hours thereof.

(2)  A class or activity which is an authorized part of the alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.

(3)  A class or course at an accredited school, college, or university or at a state-approved institution of vocational or technical training.

(4)  A court-ordered probation activity.

(5)  A medical examination or treatment as part of a necessary medical treatment for such participant or member of the participant’s household as evidenced by a written statement from a licensed practitioner.

(6)  A place, including a school, at which a child of the holder is cared for on a regular basis or which is necessary for the holder to maintain employment or school enrollment.


A conditional license shall be in a form prescribed by the court administrator and shall include sections for the court to complete specifying the class, times, and locations of permissible use.



(a)  A conditional license shall be in the possession of the license holder at all times when the license holder is operating a vehicle.

(b)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of $300.00.

(c)  A person who fails to produce a conditional license upon request from a law enforcement officer shall produce the license to the law enforcement officer or his or her agency within 48 hours of the request.  If the conditional license is not produced, the officer shall file an affidavit to that effect with the commissioner who shall immediately revoke the conditional license for the remaining period of suspension.  Production of the license is not a defense to a civil violation of subsection (b) of this section.

(d)  A holder of a conditional license who operates a vehicle in violation of the license’s prescribed time periods or locations shall be guilty of driving with a suspended license in violation of subsection 674(b) of this title.  The law enforcement officer shall seize the conditional license and send it to the commissioner of motor vehicles.  The holder may submit to the commissioner an affidavit attesting to why he or she was not in compliance with the terms of the conditional license.  The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee may reinstate the conditional license if the holder demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that the holder was operating in compliance with the conditional license.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont