Delaware DUI Laws: FAQ

What are the criminal penalties for a DUI in Delaware?

The criminal penalties for a 1st DUI conviction in Delaware include:

  • 12-24 month driver’s license revocation,

  • Fine: $230 to $ 1,150, and

  • Imprisonment not more than 6 months.

The penalties for a 2nd DUI conviction in Delaware include:

  • 24-60 months driver’s license revocation,

  • Fine: $575-$2,300, and

  • Mandatory Imprisonment for 60 days to 18 months.

If you are convicted of DUI for a third time (or more) within 5 years of your first conviction you will be convicted of a felony. In addition, you will have to undergo an evaluation process, pay court fees, attend educational classes and be assessed any additional penalties that the judge sees fit.

What are the drunk driving penalties if you are under Age 21 in Delaware?

Delaware has a Zero Tolerance Law for drivers under the age of 21. Therefore,  If you are under 21 years of age, as little as one drink can make it illegal for you to drive. The law says that anyone under the age of 21 years, who drives, operates or has actual physical control of a vehicle, an off­highway vehicle, or a moped while consuming or after having consumed alcohol, shall have their driver's license revoked for a period of 2 months for the first offense and not less than 6 months or more than 12 months for each subsequent offense.

If the under age person does not have a driver's license, the person shall be fined $200.00 for the first offense and not less than $400.00 nor more than $1,000.00 for each subsequent offense.

How can I qualify for the First Offense Election under Delaware DUI law?

To be considered for a First Offense Election you cannot have:

  • A previous DUI
  • Three or more moving violations within 2 years
  • Caused injury to another person
  • A BAC of .20% or greater
  • Been a suspended or revoked driver or had no valid license at the time of the arrest.
  • Been transporting a child under 17 years of age on or within a vehicle while under the influence.

Can I obtain driving privileges after making a First Offense Election under Delaware DUI law?

Yes. At the time of your First Offense Election you may request the court to permit you to take the First Offense Election ­ IID Diversion option. This option allows you the benefit of driving authority after a minimum of 1­month loss of license upon meeting the criteria outlined below.

  1. You held a valid Delaware driver's license at the time of your DUI violation
  2. You agreed to take the chemical test at the time of your arrest
  3. Your revoked Delaware driver's license has been surrendered to the Division of Motor Vehicles for a minimum of 1 month
  4. You have completed an alcohol evaluation and are enrolled in the designated alcohol program.
  5. Your license is not suspended or revoked for any reason which would prevent the issuance of the IID license

The IID license provides unlimited Class D driving authority, provided you are driving the specified vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device and have the IID license in your possession. (See the IID section below for further information on this program).

Do I have to undergo an evaluation process after A DUI Conviction in Delaware?

Yes. Any individual arrested for DUI MUST schedule an evaluation with the Delaware Evaluation and Referral Program (DERP). An individual may request an evaluation following their arrest, an evaluation will be ordered by the court, or by DMV. The evaluation costs $75.00. There is a $25.00 missed appointment fee. The evaluation and referral of a DUI offender is an information gathering and analysis process. The client meets individually with an evaluator to construct a personal history, including medical, legal, social, and psychological information. The evaluation takes approximately 1+ hours.
The evaluation consists of:

  1. A written and verbal evaluation
  2. Social history survey
  3. Substance abuse questionnaire
  4. Several essay questions
  5. Mental health symptom screening
  6. Client rights/confidentiality issues
  7. One on one interview with certified counselor

The information obtained from the evaluation along with the evaluators review of the offenders motor vehicle record and blood alcohol test results at the time of the violation, form the basis for analysis and recommendation. DERP will make a referral to one of the following types of programs. Offenders must make contact with the agency within 30 days of the referral or risk being non­complied back to the court. Referrals are valid for 1 year.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

Additional Drunk Driving Articles

Search LawInfo's Drunk Driving Resources