Vermont DUIs Below .08 BAC

Published by Jessica Burke on

Whether or not someone can be charged with a DUI if they are below the “legal limit” is a question I am often asked at social gatherings. When I answer that drivers in Vermont can be charged with DUI even when their BACs are below .08, I am met with stunned looks.

Wait, I can get a DUI in Vermont if my blood alcohol concentration is less than .08? 

Yes, and in many Vermont counties you may be charged. Even if you blood alcohol concentration is far below the legal limit you can be charged with DUI if you are operating a motor vehicle on a public highway and an officer determines that you are impaired. The Vermont DUI – Alcohol statute permits a charge of DUI if the operator has a BAC of more than .08 or if the operator is under the influence. The Vermont DUI statute can be found here.

Okay, the DUI under the influence statute is on the books. But Vermont prosecutors won’t actually charge me with the crime of DUI if my BAC is below .08 BAC, right?

In many Vermont counties drivers found with BACs below .08 are regularly charged with DUI.

Is there a BAC that is “safe” to operate a motor vehicle with in Vermont that I can’t be charged with DUI?

Vermont does not have a designated threshold BAC under which a driver cannot be charged with a DUI. If you drink in Vermont, don’t drive while impaired by alcohol even to the slightest degree. 

Jessica Burke

Jessica Burke is a licensed Vermont attorney and the founder of Burke Law. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Boston College in Political Science, and then received her law degree from Washington & Lee Law School. After law school she worked with several top law firms before settling in Vermont and building her own practice. In addition to being licensed to practice law in the state of Vermont, she also holds a State Bar certification in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, among others. She specializes in criminal defense, including DUI defense, homicides, and sex crimes.

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