Delaware DUI Laws

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A DUI is a serious problem within Delaware, and Delaware DUI laws are heavily enforced. Many car crashes result from people breaking Delaware DUI Laws. In the state of Delaware, around 38 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents are the result of DUI laws being broken. Due to the high rate of fatality due to the use of alcohol or drugs, Delaware DUI laws are strict and take a no-nonsense approach to the laws. Be prepared to pay more for car insurance after you break a DUI! Don’t feel the effects of a DUI by using a comparison tool! Enter your ZIP code and compare car insurance for FREE!

DUI Basics

The Basics of Delaware DUI Laws:

Below are some of the basics of Delaware DUI laws and car insurance laws that may apply:

  • The Delaware DUI laws are clear on what is considered drinking and driving. Like most states, Delaware does have an implied consent law that allows police officers to test drivers for the influence of drugs or alcohol via blood tests, breathalyzer tests or urine tests as appropriate to the situation. The rest of the laws relate to the blood alcohol content of the driver.
  • A BAC level of 0.50 or less is not considered under the influence of alcohol in the state of Delaware. It is legal to drive at this level.
  • Any BAC between 0.51 and 0.99 is not a presumed DUI offense, but is potentially admissible in a Delaware court.
  • The illegal BAC level for all drivers in the state of Delaware is set at 0.10 percent. Anyone who has a BAC of 0.10 or higher is presumed drunk and is charged with a DUI offense.
  • The excessive BAC limit is set at 0.15 percent. The consequences for a BAC above 0.15 percent are typically harsher than the punishments of DUI offenders who have a BAC below this limit. If the BAC exceeds 0.20 percent, punishments in Delaware become even harsher.
  • Delaware does follow the common zero-tolerance limit for underage drinkers. Anyone below 21 years old who has a BAC level of 0.02 percent will have a DUI charge.

Consequences of Breaking Delaware DUI Laws

The penalties of drinking and driving in the state of Delaware are strict in an effort to discourage drinking and driving. These consequences not only apply to driving a car or truck, but also to mopeds and off-highway recreational vehicles. Also, the penalties for Delaware car insurance could increase greatly!

  • First time convicted offenders in the state of Delaware serve up to six months in prison and are fined between $500 and $1,500. The license is suspended based on the BAC levels. Anyone with a BAC between 0.08 percent and 0.14 percent will have a suspended license for 12 months. Between 0.15 and 0.19 percent, the license is suspended for 18 months. Anyone who has a BAC of 0.20 or higher will receive a suspension for 24 months. An alcohol education course is also required for all first time offenders. Certain car points could be added to your license after a DUI.
  • A second DUI conviction results in at least 60 days to two years imprisonment. Fines for a second offense in Delaware are between $750 and $2,500. Any driver with a BAC of 0.19 percent or lower will have their license suspended for two years. Any driver with a BAC of 0.20 percent or higher will have their license suspended for 30 months. In some cases, an ignition interlock system is allowed after 12 months. The driver must complete a second alcohol education course after a second conviction.
  • The third conviction is considered a class “G” felony and results in one to two years of imprisonment. The offender is fined $1,500 to $5,000 and their license is suspended for 24 months to 36 months, depending on the BAC level. All drivers with a third conviction must complete another education course.
  • A fourth conviction is a class “E” felony that results in two to five years imprisonment in a state prison. All offenders are charged between $3,000 and $7,000 and will lose their license for five years after being released from prison. The offender is required to take another education course.
  • Regardless of the conviction, all DUI offenses require a drug and alcohol evaluation and potential treatment if evaluation suggests that treatment is necessary.

Accidents Resulting from DUIs

Accidents commonly occur as the result of alcohol or drug related impairment. If an accident occurs, the likelihood of the driver causing a serious injury or death is high. The penalties that result due to accidents are usually higher than those without an accident. One should make sure they are covered by the minimum car insurance required by the state!

A court will determine the appropriate consequences based on the situation. You will have to take the time to find the cheapest car insurance so you don’t lose to much money!

Special Consideration

In the state of Delaware, a blood alcohol content test is not necessary for a DUI conviction. A police officer who conducts a field sobriety test and determines that the driver is impaired is enough to result in a DUI conviction. Even if the BAC test suggests that the individual is not legally drunk, it is still possible to end up with a DUI.


Delaware does not have a time limit for offenses. Anyone who has a DUI several years prior to a new offense will be charged as a second offense. This includes DUIs from other states that are no longer considered in the previous state.

Delaware Insurance Rates

Car insurance rates will always increase after a DUI conviction in the state of Delaware, and affordable car insurance will not be available. Some car insurance companies might even decide to drop the insurance and no longer provide coverage. Regardless of whether an offender has the same insurance or a new company, all DUI convicts must have the company fill out an SR22 form and file it to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV will not reissue a license until after receiving the paperwork.

Delaware takes DUI offenses seriously and it is reflected in the harsh punishments and the refusal to set a time limit between offenses. The police and courts work to keep dangerous drivers off the road by providing penalties that make offenders think twice before driving under the influence again. Compare cheap car insurance quotes after a DUI and save! Use our FREE ZIP code search and save by comparing!

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