The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 23: Motor Vehicles

Chapter 13: OPERATION OF VEHICLES

Sub-Chapter 13: Drunken Driving

23 V.S.A. § 1209a Conditions of reinstatement; alcohol and driving education; screening; therapy programs



 

§ 1209a. Conditions of reinstatement; alcohol and driving education; screening; therapy programs

(a) Conditions of reinstatement. No license suspended or revoked under this subchapter, except a license suspended under section 1216 of this title, shall be reinstated except as follows:

(1) In the case of a first suspension, a license shall be reinstated only:

(A) after the person has successfully completed an Alcohol and Driving Education Program, at the person's own expense, followed by an assessment of the need for further treatment by a State-designated counselor, at the person's own expense, to determine whether reinstatement should be further conditioned on satisfactory completion of a therapy program agreed to by the person and the Drinking Driver Rehabilitation Program Director;

(B) if the screening indicates that therapy is needed, after the person has satisfactorily completed or shown substantial progress in completing a therapy program at the person's own expense agreed to by the person and the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director;

(C) if the person elects to operate under an ignition interlock RDL, after:

(i) a period of nine months (plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title) if the person's license or privilege to operate is suspended after a refusal to consent to a law enforcement officer's reasonable request for an evidentiary test; or

(ii) a period of six months (plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title) in all other cases; and

(D) if the person has no pending criminal charges, civil citations, or unpaid fines or penalties for a violation under this chapter.

(2) In the case of a second suspension, a license shall not be reinstated until:

(A) the person has successfully completed an alcohol and driving rehabilitation program;

(B) the person has completed or shown substantial progress in completing a therapy program at the person's own expense agreed to by the person and the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director;

(C) if the person elects to operate under an ignition interlock RDL, after:

(i) a period of two years (plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title) if the person's license or privilege to operate is suspended after a refusal to consent to a law enforcement officer's reasonable request for an evidentiary test; or

(ii) a period of 18 months (plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title) in all other cases; and

(D) the person has no pending criminal charges, civil citations, or unpaid fines or penalties for a violation under this chapter.

(3) In the case of a third or subsequent suspension or a revocation, a license shall not be reinstated until:

(A) the person has successfully completed an alcohol and driving rehabilitation program;

(B) the person has completed or shown substantial progress in completing a therapy program at the person's own expense agreed to by the person and the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director;

(C) the person has satisfied the requirements of subsection (b) of this section;

(D) if the person elects to operate under an ignition interlock RDL, after:

(i) a period of four years (plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title) if the person's license or privilege to operate is suspended after a refusal to consent to a law enforcement officer's reasonable request for an evidentiary test; or

(ii) a period of three years (plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title) in all other cases; and

(E) the person has no pending criminal charges, civil citations, or unpaid fines or penalties for a violation under this chapter.

(b) Abstinence.

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a person whose license has been suspended for life under this subchapter may apply to the Driver Rehabilitation School Director and to the Commissioner for reinstatement of his or her driving privilege. The person shall have completed three years of total abstinence from consumption of alcohol or drugs, or both. The beginning date for the period of abstinence shall be no sooner than the effective date of the suspension from which the person is requesting reinstatement and shall not include any period during which the person is serving a sentence of incarceration to include furlough. The application to the Commissioner shall be accompanied by a fee of $500.00. The Commissioner shall have the discretion to waive the application fee if the Commissioner determines that payment of the fee would present a hardship to the applicant.

(2) If the Commissioner, or a medical review board convened by the Commissioner, is satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant has abstained for the required number of years immediately preceding the application and hearing, has successfully completed a therapy program as required under this section, and the person appreciates that he or she cannot drink any amount of alcohol and drive safely, the person's license shall be reinstated immediately, subject to the condition that the person's suspension will be put back in effect in the event any further investigation reveals a return to the consumption of alcohol or drugs and to such additional conditions as the Commissioner may impose and, if the person has not previously operated for three years under an ignition interlock RDL, subject to the additional condition that the person shall operate under an ignition interlock restricted driver's license for a period of at least one year following reinstatement under this subsection. However, the Commissioner may waive this one-year requirement to operate under an ignition interlock restricted driver's license if the person furnishes proof as prescribed by the Commissioner that he or she is incapable of using an ignition interlock device because of a medical condition that will persist permanently or at least for one year.

(3) If after notice and hearing the Commissioner later finds that the person was violating the conditions of the person's reinstatement under this subsection, the person's operating license or privilege to operate shall be immediately suspended for the period of the original suspension.

(4) If the Commissioner finds that a person reinstated under this subsection was suspended pursuant to section 1205 of this title, or was convicted of a violation of section 1201 of this title, the person shall be conclusively presumed to be in violation of the conditions of his or her reinstatement.

(5) A person shall be eligible for reinstatement under this subsection only once following a suspension for life.

(6)(A) If an applicant for reinstatement under this subsection resides in a jurisdiction other than Vermont, the Commissioner may elect not to conduct an investigation. If the Commissioner elects not to conduct an investigation, he or she shall provide a letter to the applicant's jurisdiction of residence stating that Vermont does not object to the jurisdiction issuing the applicant a license if the applicant is authorized to operate only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device and is required to complete any alcohol rehabilitation or treatment requirements of the licensing jurisdiction.

(B) If the applicant's jurisdiction of residence is prepared to issue or has issued a license in accordance with subdivision (A) of this subdivision (6) and the applicant satisfies the requirements of section 675 of this title, the Commissioner shall update relevant State and federal databases to reflect that the applicant's lifetime suspension or revocation in Vermont under chapter 13, subchapter 13 of this title has terminated.

(c) Screening and therapy programs. In the case of a second or subsequent suspension, the Commissioner shall notify the person that he or she is required to enroll in the alcohol and driving education screening and therapy program provided for in this section within 30 days of license suspension. If the person fails to enroll or fails to remain so enrolled until completion, the Drinking Driver Rehabilitation Program shall report such failure to the sentencing court. The Court may order the person to appear and show cause why he or she failed to comply.

(d) Judicial review. A person aggrieved by a decision of a designated counselor under this section may seek review of that decision pursuant to Rule 75 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e) Therapy program. A therapy program required under this section may include without limitation outpatient therapy, intensive outpatient therapy, and residential therapy. In the event that the individual and the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director cannot agree on the type of therapy required, the Criminal Division of the Superior Court shall make that determination.

(f) Fees. The Department of Health's Drinking Driver Rehabilitation Program shall assess fees for the Alcohol and Driving Education Program and the alcohol assessment screening required by subdivision (a)(1)(A) of this section. The fee for the Alcohol and Driving Education Program shall not exceed $250.00. The fee for the alcohol assessment screening shall not exceed $200.00. In the case of a more intensive or weekend residential program combining both the Alcohol and Driving Education Program and the alcohol assessment screening, the total charge shall not exceed $625.00. Charges collected under this section shall be credited to separate special funds for each type of service and shall be available to the Department of Health to offset the cost of operating the Drinking Driver Rehabilitation Program. (Added 1981, No. 103, § 9; amended 1983, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1985, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1989, No. 68, § 6; 1989, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 14, 1990; 1991, No. 55, § 8; 1997, No. 55, § 7, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 56, § 8, eff. Aug. 1, 1997; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 63; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; 2003, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2007, No. 76, § 16; 2009, No. 23, § 1; 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. July 1, 2011; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238; 2011, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 17.)