Connecticut DUIs and DWIs
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DUIs in Connecticut are traffic offenses that are most often referred to as operating under the influence (OUI) charges. Drunk driving laws are in place to prevent serious drunk driving accidents. Since DUI offenses are a major reason for car accidents, they generally result in severe punishments, including license suspensions or revocations, demerit points on the offender’s driving record, mandatory participation in alcohol treatment programs and more. While a first DUI usually leads to less serious penalties, second and subsequent DUI offenses generally result in tougher consequences. Both the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the local court may issue DUI penalties through two separate procedures. Learn more about Connecticut DUI offenses and the resulting charges in the following sections.
DUI Citations and Convictions in Connecticut
Per Connecticut DUI laws, drivers who have been caught operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be arrested and will receive a traffic ticket, which will include a court date. Motorists convicted of a DUI violation in court will be obliged to meet specific requirements, such as completing a suspension period and installing an ignition interlock device (IID) prior to applying for a license restoration. The CT DMV will take separate action by issuing a DUI penalty in the form of an Administrative Per Se license suspension to drivers who have either failed or refused to submit to a chemical testing.
Connecticut OUI Violations and Penalties
Motorists in Connecticut will face OUI charges if they have been caught driving with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) in their system. Severe drunk driving charges in CT will also apply to drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical testing under the Implied Consent Law. If you have been charged with a DUI, the state DMV will receive your arrest report and issue a 45-day driver’s license suspension. Additional penalties will follow upon conviction in court.
First DUI Offense
If you have been convicted of a DUI violation in Connecticut for the first time, you will incur a license suspension for the duration of 45 days. Note that if you have already served a 45-day suspension due to chemical test failure or refusal, you may be eligible for immediate reinstatement. DUI consequences will also include a mandatory IID for a minimum of one year, and may include a jail sentence and additional fines.
Second DUI Offense
Drivers convicted of a second DUI in CT will also incur a 45-day license suspension and offenders will also be required to install an ignition interlock device for a period of three years. Steep drunk driving fines and other penalties may also apply depending on the severity of the charge.
Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses
A third DUI or any following drunk driving offense will result in more severe penalties, as motorists with several alcohol and drug-related violations on their driving record pose a real threat to the safety of others. Drivers getting a DUI in CT for the third time will be issued a permanent license revocation with the possibility to request a hearing for reconsideration two years after the date the license was officially revoked.
Note: DUI penalties issued to motorists younger than 21 years of age may be even more serious in order to deter minors from drinking while operating a vehicle.
Connecticut DUI Attorneys
Enlisting the services of an experienced drunk driving attorney is highly recommended, especially for drivers with several charges against them. If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, then you should consider seeking help as soon as possible to avoid a conviction or reduce your sentence to a minimum. Even if a DUI defense attorney in CT fails to have your charges dropped, he or she may still be able to negotiate for a lesser punishment. Prior to hiring a lawyer, however, it is your responsibility to inspect and compare the credentials of several candidates to ensure you hire the one that best fits your circumstances.
Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Connecticut
Motorists who have been arrested for drunk driving in Connecticut will have their license suspended as a result. A suspended license may be administered both by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the corresponding court. If your license has been suspended, you will need to complete several steps in order to reinstate you driving privileges. The process of reinstating a suspended credential is usually carried out at a local CT DMV office once you meet the DMV or court-imposed criteria. In order to reinstate a suspended license in CT, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) and maintain it for a specific period of time, which usually depends on your age and the number of prior offenses on your record. Drivers 21 years of age or older, for instance, are obliged to maintain an IID for at least six months after reinstatement. Underage motorists (younger than 21 years of age), on the other hand, must maintain an IID for at least one year for the same offense. In addition, drivers convicted in court may need to install and maintain an IID for a longer term. Other reinstatement requirements, such as providing payment for the set fees, may also apply.
Note: Most U.S. states also require drivers applying to reinstate their credential to submit proof of future financial responsibility, usually in the form of SR-22 insurance.
Connecticut Alcohol Awareness Classes
It is not uncommon for state motor vehicle agencies to require drivers to enroll in DUI classes and submit proof of successful completion when reinstating their credential. To confirm whether this is a requirement upon committing a DUI offense in Connecticut, contact a local DMV branch. Note that you may also be eligible to enroll in a traffic school course, where you will not only increase your knowledge of the bad influence of alcohol and drugs on safe driving, but also improve your driving skills.
Connecticut Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI
Under Connecticut drunk driving laws, motorists will be subject to severe punishments if they operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level over set limit. Note that drivers may even be prosecuted for a DUI violation without direct evidence of their BAC. If the arresting officer can prove that their ability to drive has been impaired in any way, drivers can still be charged with an OUI. Adult drivers will be in violation of the set DUI laws in Connecticut if they drive with a BAC level of .08 percent or more. Motorists younger than 21 years of age will be considered legally intoxicated if their BAC level is .02 percent or higher. Drivers who refuse to undergo a chemical testing will also be penalized with a license suspension and will be required to install an IID for a minimum of one year, regardless of their age.
Hardship License in Connecticut
If your license has been suspended due to a Connecticut DUI violation, you may request a hardship or special operator’s permit, provided you meet the requirements. Note that if you have multiple DUI offenses in your driving history, among other criteria, you will not be eligible for this credential. Since this credential may be utilized to drive a vehicle to and from work, or for educational purposes, you will need to submit proper proof of employment or educational enrollment. To request a work permit, you will need to complete the A-62 form. To obtain an educational permit, the P-225 form must be filled out and mailed to a CT DMV. Other documents and a non-refundable fee, which is currently set at $100, must also be submitted along with your request form.