Law enforcement and court authorities across the country have cracked down on drunk driving over the last several decades, and Connecticut is certainly no exception to this trend. Even a first-time offender convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) could face numerous criminal and administrative sanctions, including jail time. Anyone with multiple convictions will face increasingly severe sanctions and may even be prosecuted for a felony.
Being arrested on suspicion of DUI is a serious matter—you should think twice before trying to fight these charges without first seeking help from a Danbury DUI lawyer. With a criminal attorney by your side, you will have much better odds of building and executing a strong defense strategy. Ruane Attorneys can work to reduce the short-term sanctions you face and minimize the long-term impact this arrest has on your life.
What Counts as Driving Under the Influence?
In Danbury and throughout Connecticut, anyone operating a motor vehicle with a tested blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more is driving under the influence. Even harsher limits of 0.04 percent and 0.02 percent apply to commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21, respectively. Anyone found to have any amount of an intoxicating prescription medication or controlled substance in their system while driving may likewise face DUI charges.
Law enforcement officers can alternatively arrest and charge someone with DUI if they determine the driver is “impaired” to a meaningful degree by alcohol, medication, or illegal drugs. This may be based on their observations or the driver’s performance on field sobriety tests.
It is important to note that a police officer’s determination of impairment is often subjective. A Danbury DUI attorney can cross-examine the evidence presented by law enforcement authorities and call their observations into question.
Increasing Penalties for Repeat DUI Convictions in Danbury
Driving under the influence is generally a misdemeanor for first-time offenders in Connecticut unless the driver caused an accident resulting in serious or fatal injury to another person. Individuals convicted of “extreme” or “super extreme” DUI based on their BAC being over 0.15 or over 0.2 percent may face harsher penalties, and mandatory minimum jail terms may apply to individuals who commit DUI while a child is in the car.
First-time convictions for DUI usually carry the following sanctions:
- 48 hours to six months of jail time
- Between $500 and $1,000 in fines, plus various surcharges and additional fees
- Mandatory community service
- A 45-day driver’s license suspension
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installation for one year in all personal vehicles after the license suspension period ends
Second-time offenders may face between 120 days and two years in jail, between $1,000 and $4,000 in fines, and a three-year IID installation requirement in addition to the other sanctions listed above. Third and subsequent DUI convictions within a single ten-year period are treated as felonies and punishable by one to three years of imprisonment, $2,000 to $8,000 of fines, and permanent license revocation. Working with a local attorney on an airtight DUI defense is crucial when the stakes are this high.
Get in Touch with a Danbury DUI Attorney Today
DUI charges can impact every aspect of your life, especially if you need to drive to get to work or participate in your daily activities. Without capable legal counsel to defend you, you may face severe repercussions, potentially even time behind bars.
Contacting a Danbury DUI lawyer should be a top priority after an arrest or charge for intoxicated driving. Schedule a consultation by calling Ruane Attorneys today.