What recent changes have been made to our state’s DUI/DWI laws in Delaware?1. Effective December 22, 2020, Delaware has implemented a 21-year-old minimum legal drinking age for all forms of alcohol.
2. Effective December 31, 2020, Delaware increased the penalties for DUIs/DWIs. The first offense carries a mandatory jail sentence of up to 15 days and a fine of up to $1,150. For a second offense, the jail sentence increases to 30 days and the fine increases to $2,300.
3. Effective August 20, 2020, Delaware implemented an all-offender ignition interlock device law which requires all convicted DUI/DWI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for a minimum of three months in order to be eligible for restricted driving privileges.
4. Effective December 31, 2020, Delaware has established a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. Any driver under the age of 21 caught operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or higher will be charged with DUI/DWI.
Have there been updates to the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit in Delaware?Yes, in 2020 the legal BAC limit in Delaware was lowered from 0.08 to 0.05. This change was part of a larger effort to reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the state.
How have penalties for first-time DUI offenders changed in recent years in Delaware?In recent years, Delaware has increased penalties for first-time DUI offenders. The state now requires first-time offenders to pay fines of at least $500 and may also impose jail time of up to six months. Drivers convicted of a DUI for the first time must also complete a DUI program and may have their license suspended for up to three months. Additionally, first-time offenders may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
Are there new ignition interlock device (IID) requirements or policies in Delaware?Yes, Delaware has implemented a few new IID requirements in 2020. In April, Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security announced that anyone convicted of a DUI must have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for at least one year. The department also created a new grant program for low-income offenders to help cover the costs of installation and monitoring of the IID. Additionally, Delaware recently began requiring all convicted drunk drivers to take part in a substance abuse assessment and treatment program prior to having their license reinstated.
Have there been changes to the process of DUI checkpoints and stops in Delaware?Yes, there have been changes to the process of DUI checkpoints and stops in Delaware. Law enforcement are now required to announce their presence at roadblocks and to post signs that indicate the purpose of the stop. The signs must be clearly visible in order to give drivers fair warning of the checkpoint’s purpose. Additionally, officers must now provide drivers with an informational pamphlet about DUI laws and penalties in Delaware before they are asked to submit to sobriety testing. Finally, officers are required to record the stop on video, and the video must be provided to drivers upon request.
What impact have recent legal changes had on DUI/DWI sentencing in Delaware?Recent legal changes have had a significant impact on DUI/DWI sentencing in Delaware. In 2019, Delaware passed a new law that established mandatory minimum sentences for all DUI/DWI offenses. The law also increased the fines and jail time for repeat offenders. Additionally, the law required the installation of an ignition interlock device on all vehicles of repeat offenders and those convicted of a DUI/DWI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15% or higher. The new law also requires offenders to attend alcohol education classes and pay for substance abuse assessments. These changes have made DUI/DWI sentencing more stringent in Delaware, leading to harsher penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence.
Are there new diversion or treatment programs for DUI offenders in Delaware?Yes, there are new diversion and treatment programs for DUI offenders in Delaware. The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles has a variety of treatment and diversion programs available to those charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These include the Delaware DUI Diversion Program, the Delaware Alcohol Safety Action Program (DASAP), and the Delaware Ignition Interlock Program. In addition, there are various other treatment and education programs offered through local organizations such as the Delaware Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (DADAC).
Has the process for DUI/DWI testing or blood draws been modified in Delaware?Yes. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety has implemented changes to the state’s DUI/DWI testing and blood draws processes. Any driver who is suspected of committing a DUI or DWI offense must now undergo a saliva test for alcohol or drugs, instead of a breathalyzer test. Blood draws for suspected drug intoxication are also still allowed, but must follow additional safety protocols, such as wearing face masks and gloves.
Have recent changes affected the availability of plea bargains in DUI cases in Delaware?No, recent changes have not affected the availability of plea bargains in DUI cases in Delaware. Plea bargains are still available in DUI cases in Delaware and are often used to reduce or dismiss the charges. Defendants can still negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or drop their charges in exchange for a guilty plea.
Are there specific changes in DUI laws for underage drivers in Delaware?Yes, there are specific changes in DUI laws for underage drivers in Delaware. Underage drivers who have a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher will be found guilty of DUI. Additionally, underage drivers with a BAC of .02 or higher may be subject to a license suspension and/or fine. Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from operating a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol. Penalties for an underage DUI may include license suspension, fines, community service, and/or jail time.
Have there been updates to DUI laws regarding marijuana or other drugs in Delaware?Yes, there have been updates to Delaware’s DUI laws regarding marijuana and other drugs. In 2020, Delaware made changes to its DUI laws that included making it easier to prosecute drug-impaired driving. Under the new law, prosecutors do not need to prove that a driver was impaired by drugs in order to get a conviction. Instead, prosecutors only need to show that the driver had a detectable amount of marijuana or a controlled substance in their system at the time of driving. Additionally, Delaware increased the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs, including longer license suspensions and jail time for first-time offenders.
What changes have been made to DUI penalties for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders in Delaware?In Delaware, changes have been made to the DUI penalties for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders in recent years. CDL holders who are convicted of a first-time DUI offense face mandatory license suspension for one year, as well as fines, court costs, and the possibility of having to attend mandatory alcohol counseling. Additionally, they may be required to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle they operate during the period of suspension. Subsequent offenses can result in a lifetime ban on operating commercial vehicles. Penalties may also include fines, imprisonment, and mandatory alcohol or drug counseling.
Are there new reporting requirements for DUI/DWI convictions to other states in Delaware?Yes. In Delaware, any person convicted of DUI/DWI must report the conviction to the Department of Motor Vehicles in any state in which they hold a driver’s license or are applying for one. The person must also inform the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles of any out-of-state DUI/DWI convictions. The Delaware DMV will then enter the information into the National Driver Registry database, which is shared by all states.
How have recent changes impacted the use of body cameras or dashcams during DUI stops in Delaware?Recent changes to Delaware’s DUI laws have led to an increase in the use of body cameras and dashcams during DUI stops. Delaware now requires that police officers wear body cameras while making DUI stops and have dashcams installed in their vehicles. The goal of this is to ensure that all evidence gathered during a DUI stop is captured on video, providing greater transparency and accountability for police officers. This will also help protect motorists from any potential abuse of power by police officers. In addition, the footage can be used in court as evidence if needed.
Have there been changes to DUI laws related to accidents causing injury or death in Delaware?Yes, Delaware has updated its DUI laws related to accidents causing injury or death. Under the new law, if a person is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher and causes an accident resulting in death, they can be charged with Vehicular Homicide in the First Degree, which is a class A felony. The penalty for this offense is 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, if a person operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher and causes an accident resulting in serious physical injury, they can be charged with Vehicular Assault in the First Degree, which is also a class A felony. The penalty for this offense is up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Are there new policies or laws regarding DUI expungement or record sealing in Delaware?Yes, Delaware recently passed a law that allows those convicted of a felony DUI to apply to have their records expunged after 15 years. Additionally, those convicted of a misdemeanor DUI have the ability to apply to have their record sealed after 5 years.
Have recent legal changes affected DUI insurance rates in Delaware?Yes, recent legal changes have affected DUI insurance rates in Delaware. In 2019, Delaware enacted legislation to increase penalties for those convicted of DUI. This included increasing fines, mandatory jail time, and the suspension of driving privileges. As a result, many insurance companies raised their rates for DUI insurance coverage for individuals in Delaware.
What changes have been made to DUI/DWI court processes and procedures in Delaware?In Delaware, the Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security announced a public safety initiative in May of 2020 that includes changes to DUI/DWI court processes and procedures. First, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has adopted a new ignition interlock policy that requires all individuals who are convicted of a DUI/DWI offense in Delaware to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This interlock device prevents the vehicle from being started if alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath. Secondly, the Delaware Supreme Court has adopted new procedures for all DUI/DWI court cases that require the prosecutor and defense counsel to make their opening statements before any witnesses are called. Lastly, Delaware courts are now able to impose harsher sanctions for repeat drunk driving offenders, including mandatory jail time and extended suspension of driving privileges.
Are there additional resources or diversion programs for individuals with substance abuse issues in Delaware?Yes, there are additional resources and diversion programs for individuals with substance abuse issues in Delaware. The state offers a range of treatment and prevention services through its Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). These services include residential and outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient programs, early intervention services, and supportive housing. DSAMH also operates a variety of diversionary programs, such as Drug Court, which offers an alternative to incarceration for people charged with low-level drug offenses. Additionally, Delaware has a number of non-profit organizations that provide support services and harm reduction programs to individuals with substance abuse issues.
What is the process for staying informed about ongoing and future changes in DUI/DWI laws in Delaware?1. Visit the Delaware State Police website (https://dsp.delaware.gov/) regularly to stay informed about any upcoming changes in DUI/DWI laws in Delaware.
2. Sign up for e-mail alerts from the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security (http://www.delaware.gov/apps/dsp/index.shtml) to be notified when any changes are made or proposed.
3. Subscribe to the Delaware State Bar Association newsletter (www.dsba.org) for updates on any changes to the state’s DUI/DWI laws.
4. Follow local news publications and watch for any announcements or press releases from the Delaware State Police or Department of Safety and Homeland Security regarding any changes to DUI/DWI laws in the state.
5. Attend DUI Law seminars and other relevant events hosted by the Delaware State Bar Association, judicial organizations, or other legal professionals in the state to stay informed of any changes in DUI/DWI laws.