Vermont DUI Laws in 2023: How Much Alcohol Can You Drink and Drive?

Drink and drive DUI laws in Vermont

The legal blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) in Vermont is 0.08% (50 mg alcohol per 100 mL of blood). Even if your BAC is less than 0.08%, you can still be arrested if your driving ability is compromised by alcohol or other substances.

Commercial vehicle drivers are prohibited from operating if their blood alcohol content is 0.04% or higher. School bus drivers and drivers under the age of 21 who have a BAC of 0.02% are also deemed legally intoxicated. Offenses against this state statute will result in a DUI or driving under the influence charge. 

A BAC level of 0.08% or higher can be obtained by consuming one to two standard alcoholic beverages. However, because BAC changes depending on factors, including weight and gender, this amount should only be used as a guideline.

Please be advised that this article only aims to raise awareness about impaired driving in Vermont. This site does not support drunk driving in any state or region.

In 2020, NHTSA recorded 62 fatal vehicle accidents in Vermont. Twenty-eight percent of this number involved drivers with over 0.08% BAC level.

If you are drunk, you should not attempt to drive. If you must travel after drinking, use Uber, a designated driver service, or a cab.

Vermont has DUI laws in place to limit the incidence of drunk driving accidents. 

It is critical to abide by the state’s drunk driving laws. If you cannot avoid driving, you should have your blood alcohol level tested first. An alcohol breathalyzer can assess your BAC level.

We recommend visiting Vermont’s official website for further information about DUI driving restrictions.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Vermont

Drinking alcohol impairs sound decision-making, causing people to do things they would not typically do if they were sober. It can cause reaction times to be delayed, reflexes to be slowed, and perceptions of distance and speed to be altered.

These events can occur even if you do not seem or feel intoxicated. Symptoms of alcohol intoxication may appear as soon as you take your first drink.

Within 30 minutes to 2 hours of intake, alcohol reaches the bloodstream. Your breathing rate may slow, making it harder to think clearly.

Although the state’s legal BAC limit is 0.08%, remember that everyone’s reaction to alcohol is unique.

Your blood alcohol concentration may be affected by the following factors:

  • weight,
  • gender,
  • levels of anxiety and exhaustion
  • hunger,
  • alcohol consumption level, and
  • taking prescribed drugs.

After a few drinks, some people may feel disoriented or even pass out. Some people may appear normal, yet their driving ability may already be impaired. Hence, it is best to verify your blood alcohol level before getting behind the wheel.

A BAC calculator and chart can assist you in determining how much alcohol you can consume before driving. However, because everyone reacts differently to alcohol, these tools may not be helpful for everyone. It would be beneficial to utilize a certified alcohol breathalyzer to measure your BAC accurately.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Vermont

Blood alcohol concentrations ranging from 0.010% to 0.029% are unlikely to produce substantial impairment. Individuals with this BAC appear to be sober. As BAC levels rise, however, indicators of alcohol-related impairment become obvious.

An individual is deemed to be driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor if their BAC level is 0.08% or more, as determined by a chemical test.

DUI laws vary from one state to the next. To prevent fines and penalties, test your blood alcohol level before driving.

The DUI sanctions in Vermont are as follows.

First DUI Offense in VT

First-time offenders of DUI in Vermont may face the following penalties:

  • Jail Time: Maximum of two (2) years in jail
  • Fines: Up to $750
  • License Suspension: Up to 90 days of license revocation (one year if the offender caused an injury)

Second DUI Offense in VT

Second-time DUI offenders may face the following punishment:

  • Jail Time: Up to two (2) years in prison
  • Fines: Maximum of $1,500
  • License Suspension: Up to 18 months of license revocation

Third DUI Offense in VT

Third-time DUI offenders are bound to face the following consequences of DUI:

  • Jail Time: Maximum of five (5) years imprisonment
  • Fines: Up to $2,500
  • License Suspension: Lifetime license revocation

Ignition Interlock

Drivers who have had their license suspended due to a DUI-related event may apply for an ignition interlock device (IID) license. This license permits the bearer to drive while the suspension is in effect, but only with an IID affixed. 

Before applying, the applicant must pay a fee and serve a minimum suspension period as follows:

  • First Offense: 30 days 
  • Second Offense: 90 days
  • Third Offense or DUI involving injury or fatality: One year

Implied Consent Law in Vermont

The “implied consent” law in Vermont states that all Vermont drivers have implicitly consented to such testing by driving in the state.

This statute permits a police officer to request a breath or blood test to assess the quantity of substance in a person’s system. Sanctions will be imposed if a BAC test is unlawfully refused.

The officer must notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles if the driver refuses testing or has a BAC of.08% or higher.

For a refusal, the Commissioner will suspend the driver’s license for six months, and for a failure, the license will be suspended for 90 days. Subsequent offenses will result in an 18-month suspension.

When Can You Drink and Drive in Vermont?

A variety of circumstances influence a person’s blood alcohol concentration. Gender, according to studies, has a substantial impact on BAC levels. The BAC thresholds for men and women are different. 

Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) levels in men are significantly greater than in women. The ADH enzymes regulate alcohol metabolism. As a result, men absorb alcohol faster than women.

The information below can help you determine how much alcohol you can drink before driving in Vermont.

Although studies support the information below, keep in mind that everyone has individual reactions to alcohol consumption; hence, it may not apply to all.

How Many Bottles of Beers Can You Drink and Drive in Vermont?

How much beer can you drink and drive in Vermont

A lighter person has a greater BAC, according to BAC charts.

A 160-pound male (72 kilos) can have a BAC of 0.02% after ingesting a 12-ounce (350 ml) beer.

A female with the same weight who consumes the same quantity of alcohol may have a BAC of 0.03%.

This contrast shows how a person’s gender influences how they metabolize alcohol.

Given the above example, it is best to limit your beer consumption to one to two bottles if you need to drive later.

How Many Glasses of Wine Can You Consume and Drive in Vermont?

A standard 5-ounce (142-milliliter) portion of wine has an ABV of 12%.

A 160-pound male can have a BAC of 0.02% after consuming one glass of wine, as demonstrated in the sample above. A female of the same weight and drinking habits may have a blood alcohol content of 0.03%.

When stress, an empty stomach, and medication use are factored in, these BAC values can increase.

If you intend to drive after drinking, one to two glasses of wine should suffice.

How Much Whiskey or Vodka Can You Drink and Drive in Vermont?

The ABV of distilled alcohols, such as vodka and whiskey, is 40%.

After drinking a single shot of vodka or whiskey, a 160-pound male can have a BAC of 0.02%. A female of the same weight and intake level may have a BAC of 0.03%.

As previously indicated, when other factors are present, BAC levels can rise.

If you must drive after drinking, stick to one to two shots of whiskey or vodka.

Sticking to DUI Laws in Vermont

Every driver should be taught about the dangers of drunk driving and take every step feasible to avoid it. You may lose control of yourself and your vehicle if you are intoxicated. 

Driving while high or intoxicated is risky. As a result, the best and safest method is to avoid drinking before getting behind the wheel.

Even if you’ve had a few bottles or glasses of alcohol, don’t overestimate your BAC and driving ability. Consider alternative modes of transportation instead of driving.

If you plan to drive after drinking, ensure your driving ability is not hindered. To establish your blood alcohol level, you should also utilize a recognized alcohol breathalyzer.

We recommend visiting the state’s official website to understand Vermont DUI laws.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.