Driving Under the Influence in Connecticut

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Under Section 14-227a of the Connecticut General Statutes, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both.  A person commits the offense of operating under the influence if he or she operates a motor vehicle: (1) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, or (2) while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content.

If a driver in Connecticut is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), he or she can expect significant penalties which include jail time, fines, and the suspension of driving privileges.  These fines and penalties increase in severity with previous DUI convictions, or to the amount of alcohol in the operator’s blood upon testing by a police officer.

For an operator’s first DUI conviction (or guilty plea in Court), the operator will face a six (6) month jail sentence, with forty-eight (48) hours mandatory time to be served. A defendant may request that the Court “suspend” the six (6) month sentence, which effectively permits the defendant to remain out of jail unless and until he or she were to be arrested again within the six (6) month suspended sentence (or any designated probationary period). Typically, if the Court orders a suspended sentence, the Court will also order the operator to complete one hundred (100) hours of community service.  Along with these criminal penalties, the operator’s Connecticut driver’s license will be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a period of not less than one (1) year.

If the operator is facing his or her second DUI offense (an offense is considered a second offense if the operator has a previous conviction within the past ten (10) years), the operator will face a sentence of two (2) years in jail, with one hundred and twenty (120) days constituting mandatory time of incarceration.  Along with the jail term, the operator will further be sentenced to not less than one hundred (100) hours of community service and a fine between one thousand ($1,000) and four thousand ($4,000) dollars.  The operator’s driving privileges will also be suspended for three (3) years, or until age twenty-one, whichever is longer.

If the operator is charged with a DUI for a third or any subsequent time (a DUI is considered a third offense if the operator has two previous convictions, with at least one conviction within ten (10) years), the operator will face a sentence of three (3) years in jail, with one (1) year of mandatory minimum incarceration.  The fine assessed will be between one thousand ($1,000) and four thousand ($4,000) dollars, and the operator’s driving privileges will be permanently revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The State of Connecticut provides penalties which increase in duration and severity each time an operator either pleads guilty to, or is convicted of a DUI related charge.  Any operator faced with a DUI should explore the possibility of protecting his or her criminal record in order to mitigate the penalties involved.

If you have been charged with a DUI, please call the experienced criminal counsel at Harlow, Adams & Friedman, P.C. today at 203-878-0661 for a free consultation.

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