Any person that operates a motor vehicle in Connecticut drives under under something called “implied consent.” The implied consent law states that if you are driving and a police officer asks you to submit a blood, breath, or urine test, you have to comply. If you are a minor, your parent or guardian automatically gives their consent for this to happen. Implied consent is possible because driving is a privilege, not a right.
Proper Arrest Procedure
Police need to follow a particular procedure when asking you to submit a blood, breath, or urine test.
- First, the police officer has to place you under arrest for driving under the influence (DUI).
- Then, they need to review your constitutional rights with you.
- Next, they have to request that you take one of these tests.
- They need to give you a reasonable amount of time to contact an attorney before performing the test.
- In addition, the police must inform you that if you do not take the test, your license will be suspended.
- They also must tell you that if you take the test and it shows an elevated blood alcohol content (BAC), your license will be suspended.
- Before the test is administered, the police also have to inform you that the results of the test can be used against you in criminal proceedings.
- They need to make a written note that they informed you of the proper information listed above and followed procedure.
The police need to follow this procedure before they administer a blood, breath, or urine test. If they skip a step, the results of the test can be challenged in court.
Violation of Implied Consent Law
If you refuse to take one of these tests, you will be in violation of implied consent law. The police officer will immediately confiscate your driver’s license and suspend your driving privilege for a 24-hour period. The same thing will happen if you choose to take the test but it reveals an elevated BAC.
After confiscating your license, the police officer must prepare a report of the incident. This report gets mailed to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within three business days. If you refuse the breath, blood, or urine test, a third party that witnessed the refusal has to endorse the report.
If you refuse to take a test, your report will be sent to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The commissioner can suspend your license for a longer period of time than the initial 24-hour period. The license suspension must occur within 30 days of the commissioner receiving notice of the arrest.
If your license is suspended under the implied consent law, you will automatically be entitled to a hearing with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles before the date that the suspension is supposed to begin. You will get a letter in the mail from the commissioner explaining your suspension and when it is supposed to begin. The letter will also explain how you can schedule your hearing to fight the suspension. You need to contact the DMV within seven days of receiving this letter in order to schedule the hearing. If you don’t contact the DMV within seven days of receiving the letter, the commissioner confirms the suspension.
The hearing seeks to prove five things. These things are:
- That the police officer had probable cause to pull you over under suspect of DUI.
- That you were placed under arrest.
- That you were operating the motor vehicle.
- If a blood, breath, or urine sample was taken, that the results indicate an elevated BAC.
- If a blood sample was taken, that the test was administered following state guidelines.
In the event that any of these things cannot be proven, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles cannot impose a license suspension.
If you don’t attend the hearing or if the previous five findings are upheld in the hearing, your license will be suspended. If you refuse a blood, breath, or urine test, and this is your first offense, your license will be suspended for six months.
Also, if this is your second DUI issue, and you refuse a blood, breath, or urine test, your license will be suspended for one year.
If this is your third or subsequent DUI issue, and you refuse a blood, breath, or urine test, your license will be suspended for three years.