If you were arrested in Connecticut for drunk driving, an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drug(s) to the extent that your motor skills, mental faculties and reaction times were so impaired that you were unable to operate that motor vehicle safely. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, operating under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving in Connecticut is commonly known as OUI, Operating Under the Influence, or DUI, Driving Under the Influence, which is used in most states to describe drunk driving. OUI and DUI, however, are synonymous in that they describe prohibitions against drunk driving.
When you are arrested for an Connecticut DUI / OUI, two separate cases start. There is the criminal court case, which determines fines, jail time, community service, and other similar items. There is also the administrative side with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, which determines your licensing status.
IMPORTANT: CONNECTICUT LAW STATES THAT YOU HAVE 7 DAYS FROM YOUR ARREST FOR YOUR ATTORNEY TO REQUEST A DRIVER’S LICENSE HEARING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. It is crucial that you or your attorney schedules this hearing to avoid further problems with your driver’s license.
CONNECTICUT DUI PENALTIES
If you are convicted of Connecticut DUI / OWI charges, you can expect to pay substantial fines and be subject to various penalties (depending on the circumstances) including 2 days to 6 months of jail time on a first offense. If you are convicted of your first Connecticut DUI/OWI, you could be fined into the thousands of dollars. If your Breath/Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .16 or higher, or if you were driving with a minor in the vehicle, the DUI/OUI fines significantly increase and your driver’s license suspension will increase as well. If convicted of your first DUI/OWI you may also be required to complete up to 100 hours of community service, in lieu of jail time. If convicted, you are required to install an ignition interlock device for a period of one year on a first offense. Beginning in 2012, the suspension on a first offense for a DUI/OWI, without any enhancements, has been reduced from one year to three months.
CONNECTICUT ALCOHOL EDUCATION PROGRAM
If you have never been arrested for drunk driving previously, and otherwise qualify, you may be eligible for Connecticut’s Alcohol Education Program (AEP). This is a discretionary program administered by the criminal court in Connecticut. Only a judge can send you to the AEP upon application. AEP is a program of 10 to 15 alcohol treatment/counseling sessions, and you are responsible for the cost of it, which is in the hundreds of dollars. If successfully completed and there are no additional arrests in a year, you may be able to dismiss the criminal charges and maintain a clean record. However, the AEP and dismissal of criminal charges have no bearing on the DMV’s suspension authority.
CONNECTICUT DUI LAWYER
Connecticut DUI / OUI attorneys defend DUI/OUI offenses and drunk driving cases in Connecticut. A good Connecticut DUI / OUI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases that you’re facing and offer DUI/OUI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DUI/OUI charges and the administrative case with DMV, regarding a license suspension or revocation.