Law enforcement authorities around Connecticut take driving under the influence (DUI) extremely seriously, and courts tend to prosecute these charges harshly. On top of steep fines and surcharges, a license suspension, and jail time, a first-time conviction for DUI can also lead to greater sanctions if you are arrested again. You may even face felony charges for a subsequent offense.
That said, it is not impossible to fight back against DUI allegations with help from an attorney. A Milford DUI lawyer at Ruane Attorneys can build a strong defense tailored to your circumstances, whether you have a prior record or have never faced the legal system.
Getting Charged with Intoxicated Driving
In Connecticut, someone can be charged with and convicted of driving under the influence in multiple ways. For one, a police officer may determine through their own observations and the results of field sobriety tests that a driver is “impaired” to any degree by alcohol or drugs.
Alternatively, a chemical test result showing a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit can lead to DUI charges. The BAC limit for drunk driving is 0.08 percent for most drivers, but that limit is lowered to 0.04 percent for commercial drivers and 0.02 percent for drivers under 21. As a Milford DUI attorney could explain, refusing to consent to BAC testing during a traffic stop will result in an automatic six-month driver’s license suspension for a first-time offender.
Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Milford
A first-time conviction for DUI is punishable by a maximum six-month jail term, with a minimum time served of two days, or a suspended six-month sentence with probation and 100 mandatory community service hours. A convicted driver also faces $500 to $1,000 in fines (plus additional surcharges) and a 45-day driver’s license suspension. Once that 45-day suspension ends, the convicted individual must keep an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in any vehicle they drive for one year. Our local attorneys can further explain the sentencing for a first-time DUI and work to mitigate or avoid these penalties.
Increasing Penalties for Subsequent DUI Convictions
Someone convicted of DUI a second time will generally face the following penalties:
- A mandatory minimum 120-day jail term up to a maximum of two years
- Probation paired with 100 community service hours
- Fines of $1,000 to $4,000 plus surcharges
- A 45-day license suspension
- Three years of IID installation
Additionally, refusing a BAC test for a second time will result in an automatic one-year license suspension.
Being convicted a third or subsequent time for DUI is treated as a felony offense punishable by between one and three years of incarceration plus probation and community service requirements, fines of $2,000 to $8,000 plus surcharges, license revocation for a minimum of two years, and mandatory IID installation—if the defendant’s license is eventually restored—for a minimum of 15 years. Drivers with extremely high BACs may also face enhanced penalties as first, second, or third-time offenders. Working with a DUI lawyer in Milford on a strong defense is critical when the stakes are this high.
Seek Help from a Milford DUI Attorney
Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs can lead to substantial legal and administrative penalties, not to mention increased car insurance premiums and other consequences in your life. You should consult a Milford DUI lawyer on your options for contesting the charges and protecting your future.
Assistance is available from the legal team at Ruane Attorneys. Call our firm today to set up a consultation about your case.