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What penalties can you face for a first DUI conviction?

If convicted of DUI in Delaware, you can face serious penalties, even for your first offense. Since a first-time DUI conviction represents a misdemeanor, you likely will face a jail sentence of from two to six months. You could also face having to pay a fine of from $230 to $1,150. In addition, you will have to undergo an alcohol education assessment as well as receive treatment. Finally, the state will suspend your driver’s license for three months and will require you to file an SR-22 (proof of insurance) in order to get it reinstated. 

FindLaw reminds you that the blood alcohol concentration required to convict you of DUI depends on your age. If you have not yet reached your 21st birthday, you need to know that Delaware has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. A BAC level of only 0.02% will get you arrested, charged with and convicted of DUI. 

Once an adult, the legal BAC limit increases to 0.08 percent. Officers can still arrest you and charge you with DUI, however, if your BAC registers only 0.05%, but they observed you driving sloppily or recklessly prior to when they pulled you over. 

If your BAC registers 0.15%, you will face enhanced penalties for your DUI conviction. 

You also need to understand that Delaware has an implied consent law. This means that you impliedly agreed to take a requested BAC test when you obtained your driver’s license. While you legally can refuse to take the BAC test, you will suffer negative consequences if you do so. The state will administratively suspend your driver’s license for one year. This suspension is separate and apart from any suspension you receive as the result of your DUI conviction.