DUI PENALTIES IN CONNECTICUT

Besides the obvious reasons why you should not drive while under the influence, it is important to be aware of the penalties you might face if you so choose to operate your motor vehicle while under the influence. Over the years, the penalties have become more harsh in this area of the law. The current driving under the influence laws are contained in General Statutes §§ 14-227a and 14-227b. If you are over the age of 21, and your blood alcohol level is .08% or higher, then you have an “elevated blood alcohol content” and are considered under the influence of alcohol. If, however, you are operating a commercial motor vehicle, then you would be deemed to have an elevated blood alcohol content if your blood alcohol level is .04% or higher. If you are younger than the age of 21, you would have an elevated blood alcohol content if it is .02% or higher.

If convicted of driving under the influence, the penalties you could face are as follows:

  • First Offense: either up to six months in jail with a mandatory minimum of two days or up to six months suspended with probation requiring 100 hours of community service, a fine between $500-$1,000, and a license suspension of 45 days followed by a one year period of time of driving only a vehicle that is equipped with an ignition interlock device (for a first offense, an individual may have the option to participate in the pretrial alcohol education program, under General Statutes § 54-56g, which could result in a dismissal of charges upon satisfactory completion of the requirements);
  • Second Offense: up to two years in jail, with a mandatory minimum of 120 consecutive days and probation with 100 hours of community service; a fine between $1,000 and $4,000, and a license suspension of 45 days (or until the age of 21 is reached, if under the age of 21), followed by three years of driving only a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, with the first year being limited to travel to and from work, school, treatment programs or ignition interlock service centers;
  • Third Offense: up to three years in jail, with mandatory minimum of one year and probation with 100 hours of community service; a fine between $2,000 and $8,000; and a permanent revocation of license, unless the revocation is reversed or reduced.

It is important to note that you could face additional penalties for things such as failing to abide by the ignition interlock restrictions, operating a motor vehicle while under suspension and/or causing injuries or death with a motor vehicle. All of these penalties associated with driving under the influence could have a devastating impact upon one’s life, as well as being costly. In the event of an arrest for DUI, it is critical that you consult with an attorney experienced with defending DUI cases as soon as possible.

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