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Asiento asignado por el Registro Nacional de Asociaciones Español: Grupo 1º, Sección 1ª, Numero 600121 - NIF: G76556646 ...

Vermont Drugged Driving

In Vermont, a person is guilty of DUI if he or she operates any vehicle on a highway when the person is under the influence of any drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, § 1201(a)(3)(a) (West 2010).

Affirmative Defense

The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section. Id. § 1201(d).

Implied Consent

  • Absent bodily harm stemming from incident or warrant compelling sample, if the person refuses to submit to an evidentiary test it shall not be given. Id. § 1202(b).

  • If the officer's request is reasonable and testing is refused, the person's license or privilege to operate will be suspended for at least six months. Id. § 1202 (d)(2).

  • State is entitled, in prosecution of a motorist for criminal refusal to submit to a breath test for determining blood-alcohol content, to use evidence of the refusal without violating the general Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Id. § 1202(b); State v. Morale, 811 A.2d 185 (2002).

Penalties

  • First offense – fine of not more than $750, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both; mandatory $160 for related DUI surcharges; license/driving privileges suspended for a period of 90 days. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, §§ 1210(b),(h)-(j) (West 2010); Id. § 1206(a).

  • Second offense – fine of not more than $1,500, or imprisonment not more than 2 years, or both; at least 200 hours of community service shall be performed, or 60 consecutive hours of imprisonment; mandatory $160 for related DUI surcharges; license/driving privileges suspended for a period 18 months. Id. § 1208(a); Id. §§ 1210(c),(h)-(j).

  • Third and subsequent offense - fine of not more than $2,500, or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both; at least 400 hours of community service, or 100 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment; mandatory $160 for related DUI surcharges; license/driving privileges suspended for life. Id. §§ 1210(d),(h)-(j); Id. § 1208(b).

Sobriety Checkpoints

Vermont allows law enforcement officials to conduct sobriety checkpoints under both the state and federal constitutions.

  • Law enforcement officials conducting sobriety checkpoint do not necessarily have to have warrant, probable cause, or even articulable, individualized suspicion of illegal activity to justify an investigatory stop of motorist. State v. Martin, 496 A.2d 442 (Vt. 1985).

Case Law

State v. Rifkin, 438 A.2d 1122 (1981) -- Evidence was insufficient to support conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drug since there was no expert testimony offered to prove that quantity allegedly consumed cannabis would have rendered defendant incapable of driving safely.

Vermont Penalties


Incarceration


Fine

Possession

Less than 2 oz (first offense)*

misdemeanor

6 months

$500

Less than 2 oz (second offense)

misdemeanor

2 years

$2,000

2 oz to 1 lb

felony

3 years

$10,000

1 to 10 lbs

felony

5 years

$100,000

10 lbs or more

felony

15 years

$500,000

*Possible deferred sentencing for first offenders.

Cultivation

3 to 10 plants

felony

3 years

$10,000

11 to 25 plants

felony

5 years

$100,000

More than 25 plants

felony

15 years

$500,000

Sale

Less than 1/2 oz

misdemeanor

2 years

$10,000

1/2 oz to 1 lb

felony

5 years

$100,000

1 lb or more

felony

15 years

$500,000

Delivery to a minor at least 3 years younger by seller over age 18

felony

5 years

$25,000

To a minor or on school grounds or on a school bus

felony

additional 10 years

Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)

Paraphernalia sale

misdemeanor

1 year

$1,000

 

Details

 

Possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500 for the first offense. For a second offense the penalty increases to a possible two years in prison and a fine up to $2,000. There is a possibility of deferred sentencing for first offenders. For possession of two ounces or more, the penalty is up to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Possession of one pound or more is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $100,000. Possession of ten pounds or more carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000.

Cultivation of greater than three plants is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. For greater than 10 plants, the penalties increase to a possible five years in prison and a fine up to $100,000. Cultivation of greater than 25 plants carries a penalty up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000.

Sale or delivery of less than one-half ounce of marijuana is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. For amounts of one-half ounce or more, the penalties increase to a possible five years in prison and a fine up to $100,000. Sale or delivery of one pound or more carries a penalty of up to 15 years in jail and a fine up to $500,000.

Anyone over 18 who delivers marijuana to a minor who is at least three years his junior faces an additional penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine up to $25,000. Any sale of marijuana to a minor or any sale on school grounds or on a school bus carries an additional sentence of up to ten years in prison.

Sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.



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