Connecticut DUI/DWI statutes are pretty straightforward. Chapter 248 §14-227 forbids drivers from operating a vehicle while under the influence of liquor or any drug or both. It’s also a crime to operate a vehicle with an “…elevated blood alcohol content…” of 0.08% or greater. The BAC restriction drops to 0.02% for drivers under age 21 and to 0.04% for commercial vehicle operators.
If an officer determines that any of these circumstances apply to you, he will charge you with a DUI/DWI crime, tow your car, and arrest you. At the police station, someone may test your BAC but they don’t have to. In Connecticut, a court may convict you of a crime if the arresting officer believes that you were driving while impaired. A DUI conviction subjects you to mandatory penalties and consequences that could change your life.
Before You’re Convicted
If you test positive for alcohol in your blood, breath, or urine or you refuse to submit to a test, the Department of Motor Vehicles imposes an immediate 45-day license suspension. When you’re eligible for reinstatement, you must install an ignition interlocking device in any car you own.
- Under age 21: 1 year ILD for a first offense
- Age 21 and over: 6 months for a first offense
- Refusal to Submit to BAC test (for all age drivers): 1-year ILD for a first offense
First DUI Conviction
If you are in fact convicted of your first DUI charge, the court punishes you based on a graduated punishment system. For a first conviction, the court issues these mandatory penalties.
- Fine: Minimum $500 up to $1,000
- License suspension: 45-days. If you’ve already served a 45-day suspension, you may be allowed an immediate license restoration for a first conviction.
- Imprisonment: Up to 6 months (must serve a minimum of 48 consecutive hours) plus probation and 100 hours of community service
- Ignition locking device: You must keep an ILD in any vehicle you own for 1 year.
You may be subject to additional fines and penalties if you are convicted of one of these acts while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs:
- If operating a car with a child passenger
- Operating a school bus or student transportation vehicle
- Operating a vehicle without a court-ordered ILD
- Tampering with a court-ordered ILD
Once you’ve completed your court-ordered commitments, you may encounter additional problems.
High Insurance Premiums
A DUI conviction makes you a high-risk driver. It’s expensive and difficult to maintain the insurance you need to comply with Connecticut’s financial responsibility laws. Most standard insurance companies don’t want to insure DUI-convicted drivers. If you have existing auto coverage, your company will either cancel or non-renew your policy. If they allow you to keep your coverage, they will increase your base premium and add a surcharge.
Low Job Prospects
If you are incarcerated, you will likely lose your job. Once released, you may not be able to get or keep a job. Until the DMV reinstates your license, transportation to and from work will be an ongoing issue. Also, you won’t be able to work in jobs that require a clean driving record, a commercial driver’s license, or a spotless criminal history.
A DUI/DWI Conviction may also mean the end of your military career. If you’re a medical professional, it could affect your medical license or ruin your professional reputation.
You Need an Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re charged with a DUI offense, you need an attorney who will begin working on your defense immediately. At Sadler Law Group, we understand that our clients have a lot to lose so we work hard to tailor the best possible defense strategy. Call us at (203) 951-1360 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.