Law enforcement authorities and court officials in Connecticut take driving under the influence (DUI) seriously. Even a single arrest and conviction for DUI can lead to a license suspension, steep fines, and possibly even jail time. Repeat offenses can lead to even harsher sentencing, making it essential to contest the charges with help from legal counsel.
Regardless of your criminal and driving history, assistance from a Waterbury DUI lawyer is vital to achieving a positive resolution to your case. From examining and contesting the prosecution’s evidence to negotiating a fair sentence in the event of a conviction, a lawyer at Ruane Attorneys could be an essential ally throughout your legal proceedings.
Defining “Drunk Driving” as a Criminal Offense
Connecticut considers someone legally intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle if they have a measured blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal to or greater than 0.08 percent. This standard is higher for commercial drivers and drivers under 21, who must have a BAC under 0.04 and 0.02 percent, respectively.
Alternatively, law enforcement officers can arrest someone who demonstrates any degree of impairment due to alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication while driving. Whether a DUI charge is based on BAC test results or an officer’s assessment of impairment, a first-time conviction can lead to various penalties, including:
- A maximum fine of $1,000
- Up to six months in jail and six months of probation
- 100 mandatory community service hours
- A 45-day driver’s license suspension
It is worth noting that someone pulled over for DUI in Connecticut is not legally required to consent to BAC testing. However, refusing the test will lead to an automatic license suspension of six months, depending on the driver’s history of prior DUI convictions. A Waterbury attorney could offer further guidance on DUI offenses and potential penalties during a private consultation.
Increasing Penalties for Subsequent DUI Convictions
Connecticut state law allows courts to impose substantially harsher sanctions for repeat DUI offenses. For instance, second-time offenders may face a fine of $1,000 to $4,000 and a jail term of 120 days to two years. They also face probation, community service, and mandatory ignition interlock device installation for three years after a mandatory 45-day license suspension.
Third and subsequent convictions for DUI can result in fines of between $2,000 and $8,000, one to three years in prison plus probation and community service, license revocation for a minimum of two years, and mandatory IID installation for at least 15 years after license reinstatement. As our DUI lawyers in Waterbury could explain, “persistent” DUI offenders, as designated by the court, may be subject to even longer prison terms. A strong legal defense is essential to preventing the harsh, life-changing consequences of a repeat DUI conviction.
Talk to a Waterbury DUI Attorney About Your Legal Options
Driving under the influence can lead to severe criminal penalties and significantly impact your professional and personal life, even if your criminal record is clean. If you have prior offenses, the stakes are even higher. Fortunately, you have assistance available from the attorneys at our firm who can work tirelessly to pursue a positive result in your case.
Working with a Waterbury DUI lawyer could make a big difference in how your case plays out. Learn more by calling Ruane Attorneys today.