The stakes are raised when a person accused of drunk driving has prior convictions. While convictions for first and second DUIs carry significant penalties, third convictions are even more severe. With a required jail term of at least one year and a total revocation of a driver’s license, this accusation can change a person’s life.
An attorney could provide crucial help following an arrest for a third-time DUI in Bridgeport. The lawyers at Ruane Attorneys are prepared to explain the potential consequences and develop a powerful defense on your behalf. We could work to show that you were not driving under the influence or argue that your criminal history should not be considered for sentencing.
The Third-Time DUI Law in Connecticut
Connecticut’s third-time DUI law is included in Connecticut General Statute § 14-227a, along with the rest of the state’s DUI violations. Anyone who operates a vehicle under the influence of liquor, drugs, or hallucinogens or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08% or more is guilty of DUI. However, there are several interesting concepts in this definition.
Operation While Intoxicated
First is the concept of operation. State law defines “operation” as being in a vehicle with the intent to drive. Our Bridgeport attorneys can work to discredit the prosecution’s theory that a driver was operating at the time of the third-time DUI arrest.
A second interesting aspect of the statute is its dual nature. A person can face DUI charges for being under the influence of alcohol or having a BAC level of at least .08%. Even if a driver passes a breathalyzer test, the arresting officer can still make an arrest based on their subjective observations of the driver’s physical and mental state. Many cases involve subjective observations rather than hard evidence.
An attorney works to create reasonable doubt about these concepts in a third-time DUI case. This could involve disputing whether a defendant was operating a vehicle or if their behavior meets the state’s definition of being impaired.
Penalties for Third Offense DUI
The penalties for third offense DUI are harsh. They include the following:
- The total revocation of a driver’s license with reinstatement possible after two years
- A mandatory jail term of 365 days
- A maximum jail term of three years
- A fine of at least $2,000
- Probation for at least two years
- The installation of an ignition interlock device indefinitely
- 100 hours of community service
- Completion of a drug or alcohol screening program
Because these penalties apply for third or subsequent DUIs, defendants should discuss what counts as a previous conviction with a Bridgeport lawyer. The court will consider DUI convictions from other states when evaluating a person’s criminal record. However, the court can only consider DUI convictions from the past ten years when determining the severity of a charge. An attorney could argue that a prior conviction falls outside this window to convince a court to lessen the severity of a repeat DUI charge.
Retain Legal Counsel for a Third-Time DUI in Bridgeport
Whether this is your first, second, or third time being charged with DUI, Ruane Attorneys is here to help. We can explain your charges and determine a tailored defense strategy. Whether your case involves a positive breathalyzer test or the officer’s subjective observations, we are here to fight alongside you every step of the way.
Throughout the initial arraignment, bail hearing, pre-trial evidentiary motions, and trial, we are here to represent you. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help you navigate a third-time DUI in Bridgeport.