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Delaware DUI:  What you need to know:


      Driving under the Influence is a crime in Delaware.  Depending on what your prior record may be, DUI could be a misdemeanor or a felony.  If you are convicted of DUI you are facing the following criminal penalties:


  • 1st offense:  0-12 month and 0 – $1500 fine
  • 2nd offense:  60 days – 18 months (60 day mandatory) (Within 10 years)   $750 – $2500 fine


  • 3rd offense:   1-2 years (90 days mandatory) (in a lifetime)   0-$5,000 fine
  • 4th offense:   2-5 years (6 months mandatory)  0-$7,000 fine
  • 5th offense:   3-5 years (18 months mandatory)  0-$10,000 fine
  • 6th offense:   4-8 years (24 months mandatory)  0-$10,000 fine
  • 7th offense:   5-15 years (30 months mandatory)  0-$15,000 fine

      The offenses do not all have to occur in Delaware.  As long as the last one occurs in Delaware, the court can use offenses from around the country to add up to the requisite numbers.

      Diversionary programs like Delaware’s First Offender Program (FOP),  Maryland’s PBJ and Pennsylvania’s ARD count as prior offenses.  Likewise, a Delaware DUI that is plea bargained down to Reckless Driving Alcohol Related, counts as a prior offense.

For example:

A person who has a Reckless Driving Alcohol related in 1985,

and a First Offender Program in 2000 would be facing a felony

DUI prosecution if he is arrested for a DUI today.

The Delaware DUI Statute Title 21, Section 4177 can be found here:  (scroll down to 4177) 21/c041/sc09/index.shtml


      There are two ways to lose your Delaware Driver’s License or Delaware Driving Privileges if you are licensed in another State.  The first way is through DMV; the second is through Court.  They are two totally separate proceedings which have, essentially, nothing to do with one another.

      At the time you were arrested (just getting a traffic ticket is an arrest) the officer gave you a ticket with a court date at the bottom and a piece of paper that said “Notice of Revocation.”  The Notice of Revocation tells you that your license or driving privileges will automatically be revoked unless you request an administrative hearing at DMV.  This is NOT the same thing as the court date on your ticket.  It you do not request the hearing within 15 days of your arrest you will be revoked for 90 days on a first offense, 12 months on a 2nd offense or 18 months on a 3rd and subsequent offense.  Your attorney can make the request for an administrative hearing.  If you can get in to see him/her within 15 days of the arrest.  To insure that the request is timely made you can make the request yourself on line:  (go to the Driver License block, check ‘see all’, scroll down to ‘Forms & Manuals’ under ‘Forms’ find ‘Request Administrative Hearing’ form.

Through court, the revocation periods depend on the number of prior offenses and, if there is a reading, the amount of alcohol in your system.  The revocation periods, if you are convicted, run from 12 months up to 60 months.

      The penalties and consequences of a  Delaware DUI are severe.  It is important to promptly seek competent and knowledgeable legal counsel to assist you in navigating the dangerous waters of a Delaware DUI. For an appointment to discuss your options call Stumpf Vickers & Sandy at (302) 856-3561.


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