A conviction on a driving while intoxicated charge is a serious matter. Depending on the circumstances, you could face significant jail time. Even if you avoid jail, a DUI leads to various inconveniences and financial losses. A mark on your criminal record can also have future implications for your life and career.
A criminal defense attorney could help you avoid the harshest Bridgeport DUI penalties and work to protect your rights. After your arrest, call the legal team at Ruane Attorneys for assistance with your case.
Driver’s License Suspension
When a driver refuses or fails a DUI test, Connecticut General Statute §14-227b requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend their license for 45 days. The license suspension usually takes effect 30 days after the arrest.
Pleading guilty or being convicted of DUI also causes a driver’s license suspension. The length of the suspension depends on the driver’s DUI history:
A conviction would count as a third offense if at least one of the prior offenses occurred within the past ten years. In some cases, a driver could receive a limited permit to drive to work, school, or medical appointments. A Bridgeport attorney could help a driver secure a limited permit and work to prevent further DUI penalties.
Incarceration for DUI Convictions in Bridgeport
Connecticut General Statute §14-227a(g) says that a first DUI offense comes with a maximum jail sentence of six months, 48 hours of which must be served consecutively. Alternatively, the offender could get a six-month sentence suspended in exchange for one year of probation and 100 hours of community service.
Sentencing for Repeat Drunk Driving Offenses
The punishment is harsher for repeat offenders. Someone facing their second DUI conviction within ten years could receive a sentence of up to two years in prison. The offender must serve at least 120 consecutive days of the sentence. In addition, a second offender will get probation that includes the following conditions:
- 100 hours of community service
- Assessment for drug or alcohol dependence
- Completing drug or alcohol treatment if the assessment deems it necessary
The offender is responsible for the costs of probation and recommended substance abuse treatment.
For a third offense within ten years of a second offense, the sentence is three years of incarceration, and the offender must serve at least one year. The conditions of probation are the same as for a second offense. A lawyer at our firm can further explain the sentencing for repeat DUI offenses and work to contest the charges.
Financial Penalties for DUI
A DUI arrest is expensive, and a conviction carries substantial financial penalties. For instance, when the police arrest someone for DUI, the car is usually towed at the driver’s expense. The driver will be transported to a police station and might have to pay a bond before release.
Expenses Related to Driver’s License Suspension
DUIs often lead to driver’s license suspensions. Most people cannot apply for reinstatement for at least 45 days after arrest. They may have to pay for public transportation in the meantime.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) imposes a fee if a person applies for a limited permit to drive to work, school, or specified appointments with a suspended license. The DMV also collects a fee to apply for license reinstatement and an ignition interlock device (IID), which is usually a condition for license reinstatement. If the DMV grants the application, the driver is responsible for the cost of installing an IID on every vehicle they own and must pay a monthly maintenance fee for the device.
Fines Upon Conviction
The court will impose a fine if a driver pleads guilty or is convicted of a DUI-related offense. For a first offense, the statutory fine is between $500 and $1000. The fine for a second offense is $1000 to $4000. For a third offense, the potential fine ranges from $2000 to $8000.
Other Costs of a DUI
Someone facing a DUI charge may incur multiple other expenses. For example, the court imposes a fee of approximately $100 to cover its operating costs. If probation is part of a sentence, the fee is typically between $200 and $500. If the drug assessment recommends drug or alcohol counseling or treatment, the offender is responsible for those expenses.
Car insurance rates could increase by 50 to 80 percent after a DUI conviction. In some cases, health and life insurance premiums also increase. A DUI conviction could lead to loss of employment and denial of future employment opportunities. To prevent these significant consequences, those facing DUI penalties should work with a Bridgeport attorney on a strong defense.
Contact a Bridgeport Attorney to Defend a DUI Charge
The potential consequences of a DUI are harsh, even if it was your first offense. Discuss potential Bridgeport DUI penalties with an attorney at our firm and learn your options for dealing with the charges. Legal counsel can make a big difference in the outcome of your case, so do not delay seeking help. Call Ruane Attorneys today to speak with a member of our team about your case.