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Delaware

Official State Website

State Attorney General

Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
phone: (302) 577-8400
Fax: (302) 577-6630
TTY: (302) 577-5783
Email: Attorney.General@State.DE.US

Delaware Division of Human Relations
820 N. French Street, 4th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
Tel: (302) 577-5050

State Code

State Constitution

State Legislature

Applies To
Guide dogs for the blind (16-95 § 9502).

Trainers
not covered

Penalties
Interference is a class B misdemeanor; intentional injury of a service animal is a class A misdemeanor; intentional killing of a service dog is a class D felony; stealing of a service dog is a class E felony (7-17 § 1717). In any of these cases the violator will also make full restitution. Denial of access carries a fine of up to $100 and/or up to 3 months in jail (31.21 § 2117).

Other
license fee waiver for guide dogs (7-17 § 1702)


7-17 § 1702. Fees for dog and kennel licenses; terms.

(j) The license fee required by subsection (a) of this section shall not be required to be paid when the dog is one which qualifies as a seeing eye, lead or guide dog or as a dog which has previously served in a branch of the United States armed forces. The Department shall issue a metal license tag in accordance with subsection (e) of this section to such persons without the necessity of the payment of the fee as specified in subsection (a) of this section. (Code 1915, § 2406A; 30 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 4; 34 Del. Laws, c. 185, § 1; 35 Del. Laws, c. 165, § 3; 36 Del. Laws, c. 230, § 1; Code 1935, § 2866; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 1701; 49 Del. Laws, c. 26; 50 Del. Laws, c. 100, § 1; 50 Del. Laws, c. 623, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 193; 57 Del. Laws, c. 334; 57 Del. Laws, c. 472; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, §§ 75, 76; 59 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 304, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 397, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 389, §§ 1-3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 135, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 426, §§ 1-4; 71 Del. Laws, c. 431, §§ 1, 3-7.)

7-17 § 1717. Unauthorized acts against a service, guide or seeing eye dog; penalties.

(a) No person shall intentionally interfere with the use of a service, guide or seeing eye dog by obstructing, intimidating or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of the user or animal. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

(b) No person shall intentionally injure or disable a service, guide or seeing eye dog being used by its owner. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(c) No person shall intentionally kill a service, guide or seeing eye dog owned by a private person or agency. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class D felony. This subsection, however, does not apply to a law enforcement officer as defined by § 222 of Title 11 that is forced to take such action pursuant to the lawful performance of the officer's duties.

(d) No person shall intentionally steal, take or wrongfully obtain a service, guide or seeing eye dog owned by a private person or agency. Whoever violates this subsection shall be guilty of a class E felony.

(e) In any case where a person is convicted under subsection (a), (b), (c) or (d), that person shall also be ordered to make full restitution for all damages, including incidental and consequential expenses incurred by the service, guide or seeing eye dog owner and the dog which arise out of or are related to the criminal offense. (66 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 116, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 302, § 1.)


TITLE 16
Health and Safety
Disabled and Partially Disabled Persons
CHAPTER 95. DELAWARE WHITE CANE LAW

§ 9501. Public policy; White Cane Day.

(a) It is the policy of this State to encourage and enable the blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled to participate fully in the social and economic life of this State and to engage in remunerative employment.

(b) It is the policy of this State that the blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled shall be employed by all employers including this State, political subdivisions of this State, the public schools and in all other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds on the same terms and conditions as are able-bodied persons, unless it is shown that the particular disability prevents the performance of the work involved.

(c) Each year the Governor by proclamation or the General Assembly by resolution may take public notice of October 15 as White Cane Safety Day so that the public may continue to be aware of the significance of the white cane and be able to recognize the presence of disabled persons on the streets and sidewalks of the State. (16 Del. C. 1953, § 9501; 58 Del. Laws, c. 222.)

§ 9502. Rights and liabilities.

(a) The blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled shall have the same rights as able-bodied persons to use streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, public buildings, public facilities and other public places.

(b) The blind, the visually handicapped and the otherwise physically disabled are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges on all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, streetcars, boats or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation, and in all hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement or resort and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law.

(c) Every totally or partially blind person may be accompanied by a guide dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed within this section without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide dog, provided that the totally or partially blind person shall be liable for any damages done to the premises or facilities by such dog. A guide dog may be excluded from any of the places enumerated in this section if the admission of such dog would create the clear danger of a disturbance or physical harm to other persons in such place. (16 Del. C. 1953, § 9502; 58 Del. Laws, c. 222; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.)

§ 9503. Rules of the road.

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominately white or metallic in color (with or without a red tip) or using a guide dog shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such blind pedestrian, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused to such pedestrian. A totally or partially blind pedestrian not carrying such a cane or using a guide dog in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances listed in § 9502 shall have all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons and the failure of a totally or partially blind pedestrian to carry a cane or use a dog in any such places, accommodations or conveyances shall not be conclusively held to constitute nor be evidence of contributory negligence. (16 Del. C. 1953, § 9503; 58 Del. Laws, c. 222.)

§ 9504. Enjoyment of public facilities.

Any person or persons, firm or corporation or an agent thereof who denies or interferes with the admittance to or enjoyment of the public facilities enumerated in § 9502 or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind or otherwise disabled person as specified in § 9502 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (16 Del. C. 1953, § 9504; 58 Del. Laws, c. 222.)

§ 9505. Housing accommodations.

(a) Blind persons, visually handicapped persons and other physically disabled persons shall be entitled to full and equal access as other members of the general public to all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease or compensation in this State, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law on all persons.

(b) "Housing accommodations" shall mean any real property or portion thereof which is used or occupied or is intended, arranged or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of 1 or more human beings, but shall not include any accommodations not included within subsection (a) or any single-family residence the occupants of which rent, lease or furnish for compensation not more than 1 room therein.

(c) Nothing in this section shall require any person renting, leasing or providing for compensation real property to modify such person's property in any way or provide a higher degree of care for a blind person or a visually handicapped person.

(d) Every totally or partially blind person who has a guide dog shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this section and the totally or partially blind person shall not be required to pay extra compensation for such guide dog, but shall be liable for any damage done to the premises by such a guide dog. (16 Del. C. 1953, § 9505; 58 Del. Laws, c. 222; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.)

§ 9506. Violations.

Any person who violates this chapter shall, upon conviction for such offense in a Justice of the Peace Court, be fined $100 for every such violation. (16 Del. C. 1953, § 9506; 58 Del. Laws, c. 222.)


21-41 § 4144. Drivers to exercise due care.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person or a person wholly or partially blind, carrying a cane or walking stick white in color, or white tipped with red or accompanied by a guide dog, upon a roadway. (21 Del. C. 1953, § 4144; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 32.)


31.21 § 2117. Relating to the blind and "seeing eye dogs"; penalties.

(a) Any person who by reason of loss or impairment of eyesight or hearing is accompanied by a dog described as a "seeing eye dog," or any dog educated by a recognized training agency or school, which is used as a leader or guide, is entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of all public conveyances, hotels, lodging places, all places of public accommodation, amusement or resort and other places to which the general public is invited and shall be entitled to take the dog into such conveyances and places, subject only to the conditions and limitations applicable to all persons not so accompanied; provided, that the dog shall not occupy a seat in any public conveyance.

(b) Any person, firm or corporation who deprives any person suffering from such loss or impairment of eyesight or hearing of any right conferred by subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $100, or be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 3 months, or both and for every such offense such person shall forfeit and pay a sum of not more than $100 to any person aggrieved thereby, to be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction in the county where such offense was committed. (31 Del. C. 1953, § 2118; 57 Del. Laws, c. 162; 64 Del. Laws, c. 389, §§ 4, 5.)


last updated 19JAN2008