Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs


DUI Defense Attorney

In Delaware, you may be arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if you are driving, operating or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even if prescribed). A chemical test (or intoxilyzer) indicating a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater, or the presence of any drug, prescription or illegal, is sufficient for a DUI arrest and conviction. It is still possible however to be arrested for DUI with a BAC of below .08.

DUI violations are dealt with under both administrative and court proceedings, which are conducted independently of each other: first, you’ll need to appear at the Division of Motor Vehicle for an administrative revocation hearing; second, you’ll need to answer to the charges in court.


“A DUI arrest can be an embarrassing and humiliating situation; dealing with law enforcement, the courts, the prospect of losing your license and the financial impact upon you and your family is upsetting and stressful. You shouldn’t lose all hope, however. Many very good, law abiding people have made the mistake of getting behind the wheel after having one too many. There are often strong options to defend DUI charges and, with a thorough review of the evidence against you, we can implement a solid defense strategy. It’s important for you to act quickly, however, because you have a short time-table to make important decisions about driver’s license suspension issues. Handling a DUI charge without legal counsel is not advised.”

John Deckers routinely represents individuals ACCUSED OF the following:

  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

  • Underage (Zero Tolerance) DUI

Possible Penalties

Delaware has recently increased the penalties for a violation of its DUI law: a first offender can lose his license for up to two years, can be fined up to $1,500.00 and imprisoned up to twelve months; a second time offender can lose his license for up to two and one-half years, can be fined up to $2,500.00 and imprisoned up to eighteen months; a third time offender can lose his license for up to three years, can be fined up to $5,000.00 and imprisoned up to twenty-four months; and all subsequent offenders will lose their license for five years, will be fined not less than $7,000, and will be sentenced up to 60 months or more in prison.  An explanation of the DUI law and the DMV administrative hearing process is available for your on-line review.

Under Delaware law, any conviction requires the completion of a (minimum 16 hour) drinking/driving course. In addition, all second and greater offenders face the prospect of mandatory prison time. Third and subsequent offenders also face the prospect of a felony criminal conviction, not simply a traffic violation.

In furtherance of the DUI laws, the state prosecutors have developed a “zero tolerance” approach to DUI’s, and they frequently seek convictions for even first time offenders with good jobs and families to support. In light of these strict penalties, it’s important that you understand the law and your rights if you are charged with a DUI. Our goal is to help you avoid going to prison, to avoid losing your driver's license, and to avoid paying substantial fines or increased insurance premiums.

DMV Administrative Hearing

 In addition to facing DUI charges in court, the arresting officer will take your Delaware license and issue you a slip of paper serving as a temporary license. You’ll have 15 days to request a DMV administrative hearing (regarding whether or not your license should be suspended). If you fail to request a hearing within 15 days, your temporary license will become invalid and you’ll have no license to drive a vehicle (for the designated revocation time and until you take the DUI course and pay a reinstatement fee). Here's a link to the DMV's Administrative Hearing Online Request Form.

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, call Delaware Criminal Defense Attorney John Deckers at (302) 656-9850. John and his staff will provide you with the aggressive, professional legal services you need and deserve.