Delaware First Offenders Program
At the time of arraignment for a first time DUI, you may elect to apply for enrollment in a First Offense Election program in lieu of a standing trial. If you elect to apply, the application will constitute an admission of guilt and a waiver of the right to a speedy trial. You also agree not to request an administrative hearing at the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or to withdraw any request previously made for this violation. The court will notify the DMV of your decision. DMV will revoke your license and/or driving privilege for a period of one year for the First Offense Election and any applicable period of revocation for the administrative action of probable cause or refused a chemical test.
To be considered for a First Offense Election (may only qualify 1 time for FOE), one cannot have:
- A previous DUI
- Three or more moving violations within 2 years
- Caused injury to another person
- A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% or greater
- Been a suspended or revoked driver or had no valid Delaware Driver’s license at the time of the arrest
- Been transporting a child under 17 years of age on or within a vehicle while under the influence
At the time of your First Offense Election, you may request the court to permit you to take the First Offense Election – IID Diversion option. This option allows you the benefit of driving privileges after a minimum of 1-month loss of license upon meeting the criteria outlined below.
- You held a valid Delaware driver’s license at the time of your DUI violation
- You agreed to take the chemical test at the time of your arrest
- Your revoked Delaware driver’s license has been surrendered to the Division of Motor Vehicles for a minimum of 1 month
- You have completed an alcohol evaluation and are enrolled in the designated alcohol program.
- Your license is not suspended or revoked for any reason which would prevent the issuance of the IID license
The IID license provides unlimited Class D driving authority, provided you are driving the specified vehicle equipped with the ignition interlock device and have the IID license in your possession.
First Offenders Program Evaluation Process
Any individual arrested for DUI must schedule an evaluation with the Delaware Evaluation and Referral Program (DERP).
An individual may request an evaluation following their arrest, and an evaluation will be ordered by the court or by DMV. The evaluation costs $100.00. There is a $35.00 missed appointment fee. The evaluation and referral of a DUI offender is an information gathering and analysis process. The client meets individually with an evaluator to construct a personal history, including medical, legal, social, and psychological information. The alcohol evaluation takes approximately 1+ hours.
The evaluation consists of:
- A written and verbal evaluation
- Social history survey
- Substance abuse questionnaire
- Several essay questions
- Mental health symptom screening
- Client rights/confidentiality issues
- One-on-one interview with a certified counselor
The information obtained from the evaluation, along with the evaluators’ review of the offender’s motor vehicle record and blood alcohol test results at the time of the violation, form the basis for analysis and recommendation. DERP will make a referral to one of the following types of offender programs.
Offenders must make contact with the agency within 30 days of the referral or risk being non-complied back to the court. Referrals are valid for 1 year.