Why do some people (who have been charged with an alcohol-related offense) been issued both a civil suspension and a criminal suspension for the same violation?

Effective December 1, 1989 the Vermont legislature passed a law that provided a means for a law enforcement officer to issue a Notice of Intent to Suspend, which is considered a Civil (alcohol-related) suspension, to be issued to an offender. This law also permits criminal (alcohol-related) charges to be filed against the offender. As a result, an individual can be suspended both civilly and criminally for the same incident. The Notice of Intent to Suspend was supposed to ease the burden of cases in the Vermont court system as well as providing a means of issuance of a suspension in a more timely manner. An individual who has been charged under this law has a choice of either requesting a hearing on the civil charge or having the suspension go into effect on the date noted on the Notice of Intent to Suspend. If the individual requests a hearing on the civil charge it is generally held in the Vermont District Court at the same time as the hearing for the criminal charge. As they are actually two different charges under two different sections of the law it is possible to have only one of the two charges dismissed ...but both charges must be addressed. If you are suspended for both the civil and the criminal charges the suspensions run concurrently (at the same time). For example, if you were suspended for 90 days for the civil charge and 90 days for the criminal charge the suspensions would either happen at the same time, or, (if one suspension started before the other one) you would be given credit for the time served for the first suspension issued and that time would be deducted from the amount of suspension time to be served for the second suspension issued. See 23 V.S.A., Chapter 13, Subchapter XIII: Drunken Driving in Vermont law.

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