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What's the Difference Between an OUI and a DUI?

In most states, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol will result in a “DUI,” which stands for “driving under the influence.” That said, the terminology for this offense varies from state to state. For example, “DWI,” or “driving while intoxicated,” is the preferred abbreviation in places like New York and Texas; “OWI,” or “Operating While Intoxicated,” is what they call this offense in Iowa; in Colorado, drivers may be pulled over for “DWAI,” or “Driving While Alcohol Impaired.”

In Connecticut, this offense is referred to as “Operating Under the Influence,” or “OUI.” While it’s still commonly referred to as DUI in many circles, OUI is the precise legal phrase in this state, and the one you’ll be hearing if you get pulled over for drinking and driving.

Facing an OUI? Here’s What You Need to Know.

In Connecticut, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a “BAC” or “blood alcohol content” of .08% or higher if you are over 21. For those under 21, the legal BAC limit is .02%. If you get pulled over with a BAC over the legal limit, be prepared for:

  • Criminal misdemeanor charges, which may include 48 hours in jail, fines up to $1000, a maximum prison sentence of 6 months, and a period of probation.
  • Administrative proceedings on the part of the DMV, usually resulting in the suspension of your driver’s license for 45 days.
  • Mandated Alcohol Awareness Classes, to be completed before the return of your driver’s license.
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device, or “IID” in your vehicle.

Because Connecticut has an “Implied Consent Law,” you are automatically agreeing to submit to a BAC test just by the act of driving. Connecticut OUI law also states that “operating” a vehicle constitutes any action you take once a vehicle is started, so you could get an OUI just for turning the keys and revving your engine. Given the strict nature of Connecticut’s OUI laws, it is imperative that you have an attorney who will fight for you should you be arrested while driving under the influence.

Have you or a loved one recently been arrested for OUI? Call Tomeo Sills, LLC at (844) 913-7747 or contact us online today. With 45 years of collective experience, our Connecticut OUI lawyers have handled thousands of cases, and we’re ready to help you next.