Drunk Driving & Moped Laws
While some states may not qualify mopeds or electric scooters as motor vehicles, this is not the case in Delaware, and traffic laws do apply to moped riders. Mopeds, scooters, and other electric vehicles that are road legal in the state of Delaware have become more popular in recent years, as their low gas mileage provides commuters with an inexpensive private transportation option. However, since these vehicles are allowed on Delaware roads, all drivers must follow Delaware traffic laws, and this includes laws that prohibit drinking and driving.
Drivers that drink and drive while operating a moped on a Delaware road are subject to DUI charges, and these charges can lead them to lose their license or face jail time depending on their blood alcohol level and potential past convictions. When faced with a DUI charge involving a moped, it is always best that drivers seek the assistance of a skilled Delaware attorney in representing their case.
Grounds for Being Pulled Over in Delaware
In order to be pulled over in the state of Delaware for DUI or other traffic related charges, an officer must first have reasonable suspicion that a crime or violation is being committed or about to be committed. This means that if an officer sees a person driving erratically or exceeding speed limit laws, he or she has the right to pull a driver over. If evidence of intoxication is then found, the officer has the right to place the person under arrest and have their blood alcohol levels tested by a medical professional. This evidence of intoxication can come through a field sobriety test or an apparent slurred speech or odor coming from the driver of the vehicle, and Delaware’s implied consent law gives officers the right to test drivers as they see fit.
The law of implied consent is used in a variety of states, and it means that a person gives an officer the right to test them should they be pulled over, if they have had anything to drink that evening. Even if a blood alcohol level is found to be well under the legal limit, it is lawful for the officer to request a test to be performed. If these tests are in any way refused after suspicion has been noted, the driver will be automatically arrested and face license suspension.
DUI Penalties in Delaware
Penalties for DUI convictions in the state of Delaware will vary depending on a driver’s blood alcohol level and any previous offenses, and these laws apply to moped drivers the same way that they apply to drivers of other road legal vehicles.
If a person is faced with their first DUI in the state of Delaware, and their blood alcohol level is found to be only slightly greater than the 0.08% legal limit, their penalty will often include a $500 fine, a license suspension of up to 1 year, and a sentence of 60 days minimum to be served in a county jail. If the person’s blood alcohol level is found to be significantly greater than the legal limit of 0.08%, however, their penalties will be harsher.
If a driver is found to have a blood alcohol level higher than 0.16%, whether it is a subsequent or first time offense, they can expect a penalty greater than that of a person who has the same amount of offenses but a blood alcohol level of only 0.010%.
For blood alcohol levels that are 0.20% or greater, a person can expect penalties that include a $2,500 fine, 30 month license suspension, and a jail sentence that can last as long as 18 months. When these high blood alcohol levels are paired with repeated offenses, the penalties will grow to be even harsher, with extended jail sentences and loftier fines.
After a person receives 4 drunk driving convictions, any conviction received thereafter will then be considered a felony rather than a misdemeanor offense. While DUI convictions often carry misdemeanor charges, those that repeat these crimes will face felony convictions, which carry the most harsh penalties as well as difficult expungement. A felony DUI conviction can lead a person to pay up to $10,000 in related fines as well as serve a prison sentence of a minimum of 3 years.
The Importance of a DUI Attorney in Moped Drunk Driving Cases
Drunk driving convictions can follow a person throughout their future, particularly if their situation involved a high blood alcohol content level or previous convictions. There are some defenses that may be used, however, to help a person to avoid the harshest convictions and penalties, and these are best used with the help of a skilled Delaware DUI attorney. A DUI attorney in the state of Delaware will have the experience and knowledge to be able to build a defense around their client’s specific situation that allows them a chance to have their charges dropped or lessened. This is particularly beneficial in cases of felony DUI, as these have significantly costlier penalties than misdemeanor cases. There are several different defenses that may be able to be used to have felony DUI charges lessened, and these are best executed by a professional.
In cases of misdemeanor DUI charges, the help of a DUI attorney is still undoubtedly beneficial. An attorney will be able to help their client to work through the entire case as they map out a fitting defense.
Reasonable Suspicion on a Moped Laws in Delaware
In Delaware a law enforcement official has to have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime or are about to commit a crime in order to pull you over. Once pulled over if the officer suspects that you are intoxicated due to an alcoholic odor on your breath, slurred speech or decreased motor skills then he or she has probable cause to arrest you for DUI. Under Delaware’s Implied Consent Law anyone operating a motor vehicle is subject to a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test. You can refuse these tests and ask to speak to a lawyer but you will automatically suffer legal and administrative consequences such as being arrested and having your license suspended.
If you were driving erratically, swerving, improperly signaling or disobeying traffic signals on a moped you can be pulled over just as if you were driving a car the same way. Being arrested for DUI on a moped carries with it the same penalties, fines, fees and possible jail time as a DUI arrest while operating your personal automobile. DUI arrests on a moped in Delaware can be quite common in the summertime at the various Delaware beaches. If you live in another state and are charged with Moped DUI while visiting or vacationing in Delaware your driving privileges in your home state can be effected as well.
Contact a DUI Defense Attorney
Working with a Delaware DUI Lawyer is very beneficial regarding your DUI case. Mr. Garey will outline a strategic and sound defense for you. He will also make sure your rights are protected every step of the way. Call Delaware DUI Defense Attorney John R. Garey at 302-744-9290. You can also email Mr. Garey. With many years serving those charged with DUI in Delaware he will aggressively protect for your rights while attempting to minimize the consequences of your pending drunk driving charges.
The Law Office of John R. Garey proudly serves those accused of DUI throughout Kent County, Delaware and Sussex County Delaware. Within these counties he serves all cities, towns & suburbs in including, but no limited to, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Harrington, Kenton, Little Creek, Seaford, Georgetown, Millsboro, Milton, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Ocean View, Laurel, Delmar and Dagsboro.