The Basics of DUI
In the state of Connecticut, if you are 21 or older, you are legally intoxicated at a certain point. This happens if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is a .08 or higher. But, if you are under 21 years of age, you are considered legally intoxicated at a different point. This happens if you have a BAC of .02 or higher. Connecticut has an Implied Consent Law. The law states that every person who operates a motor vehicle has consented to take a test to determine their blood alcohol content. This can happen at any time while they are operating a motor vehicle.
A person who operates a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs faces criminal and administrative charges. The criminal charges require an appearance in court to get prosecuted for a DUI offense. The administrative charges deal with the automatic suspension of your license by the DMV. The Court and DMV are totally independent of each other, however both carry serious penalties.
A DUI Arrest
If you get arrested for a DUI in the state of Connecticut, the basics of what will happen include:
- The police detain you and read you your rights.
- The police handcuff you.
- Then, the police search your vehicle.
- You go in a police cruiser to the police station.
- The police ask you to submit to a BAC test.
- Your vehicle gets towed at your expense.
- You stay in a police lock-up until you get bailed out or released by a judge through an in-court arraignment.
At the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (the “DMV”) all applications for new licenses and renewals get reviewed for previous DUI convictions in other states as well as other serious offenses prior to issuing the license. If a person applying for a Connecticut State license has a previous DUI in another state, it is considered a prior offense within Connecticut if a license is administered.
Connecticut uses many different techniques when detecting and apprehending drunk drivers which include sobriety checkpoints, blanket patrols, publicized enforcement campaigns, standardized field sobriety testing, preliminary breath tests, mobile videotaping and BAT Mobiles. Identifying drunk drivers who continue the same behavior of heavy drinking followed by driving is essential in effectively keeping them off the road. The state of Connecticut has over 3.5 million drivers and on average, about 20,000 DUI arrests each year. Any person convicted of DUI will have “at risk driver” imprinted on their license.
For first time offenders, there is a chance, however, to enter into a diversion program. The offender may enter into a pre-trial education program for alcohol abuse and it is possible for the court to dismiss charges upon completing the program satisfactorily. The rehabilitation can take the form of outpatient or inpatient treatment.
After conviction, whether after plea or trial, judges most often order defendants to go through an alcohol assessment and evaluation program to determine the level and scope of their problems with alcohol. Treatment for all offenders is mandatory and without successful completion of treatment, license reinstatement will not occur.
If the DMV suspends your license to drive for a DUI arrest or conviction and you operate any vehicle, you will face a MANDATORY 30 DAY JAIL SENTENCE which cannot get reduced by a judge unless the judge finds mitigating circumstances.