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Delaware Toughens Penalties for DUI Offenders – July 13, 2009

On July 13, 2009 Governor Jack A Markell signed two pieces of legislation into law creating tougher penalties for those convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol. The first, House Bill 152, sponsored by Representative Bryon Short and Senator Brian Bushweller increases fines for all DUI offenders and in particular fifth and subsequent offenders. In 2008, state and local law enforcement officers made approximately DUI 6,916 arrests. Of those, 5,057 drivers were first-time offenders and 59 drivers had been previously arrested for DUI five or more times.

The second bill signed by Governor Markell, Senate Bill 177, was sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Anthony DeLuca and Representative Pete Schwartzkopf. It strengthens penalties for first time DUI offenders with a BAC of .15 or higher by increasing the period of hard revocation for these individuals, who are mandated to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their vehicle, from 30 to 45 days. It also increases their period of license revocation from three to six months as well as mandates the use of IID for six months for those individuals. Furthermore, it limits the driving authority of IID licensed drivers to work, home, school, alcohol treatment programs and interlock service provider appointments.

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