Drunk Driving Defense Laws in Connecticut
Drunk driving some of the most restrictive penalties of common traffic violations. A conviction for drunk driving in Connecticut can include losing your license, time in jail, and probation. Understanding how Connecticut handles drunk driving can help you better understand your rights and find a knowledgeable Connecticut DUI defense attorney to help resolve your case.
Connecticut Drunk Driving Laws
Connecticut law forbids operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with a BAC of .08% or higher. For commercial drivers, the threshold is .04%, and it is .02% for drivers under 21 years of age. Connecticut considers a driver as being under the influence when alcohol affects their physical and mental state to the point where one cannot properly operate a vehicle.
Implied Consent: Yes
Enhanced Penalties: .15% BAC or more; driving under the influence with a child passenger; an accident causing serious bodily injury or death; prior convictions
DUI is a misdemeanor offense, and all those convicted may have to attend a victim impact panel as well as other prescribed penalties:
- The first-offense penalties include up to six months imprisonment (minimum 48 hours must be served in jail); 100 hours of community service; a $500 to $1,000 fine; a 45-day license suspension minimum; and one year with an ignition interlock device (IID).
- A second offense of up to two years imprisonment (120 days must be served in jail); $1,000 to $4,000 in fines; a 45-day license suspension; three years of using an ignition interlock device IID; probation with 100 hours of community service; and a substance abuse program.
- A third offense or more comes with a penalty of up three years imprisonment (one year of which must be served in jail); a $2,000 to $8,000 fine; permanent license revocation; probation with 100 hours of community service: and attendance of a substance abuse program.
DUI Penalties in Connecticut
Connecticut law allows for the courts to impose other penalties for a drunk driving conviction, including:
- Participation in a victim impact panel program
- Alcohol and drug treatment program
It is important that you discuss any potential penalties you could face with a Connecticut experienced criminal defense attorney before deciding whether you should take your case to trial or take a plea agreement.
Pretrial Alcohol Education Program
When someone is charged with their first DUI in Connecticut, they may apply to the court to participate in the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program. Once the defendant is deemed eligible for the program, they will be placed in a state-licensed substance abuse treatment program or an alcohol intervention program.
Upon successful completion of the program, the defendant may ask the court to dismiss the charges. The defendant’s driver’s license suspension will remain in effect. This program is not available to those who have been in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious physical injury or if the defendant was operating a commercial vehicle.
Connecticut DUI Defense Lawyer Strategies
A DUI is a serious offense in Connecticut and includes the possibility of jail time. Drivers arrested for drunk driving in Connecticut have a chance of avoiding the harshest sentencing by avoiding a conviction for DUI altogether.
An experienced DUI defense attorney can investigate the circumstances behind the blood alcohol testing to ensure your rights are protected. In many cases, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the DUI charges.