Arrested for DUI in Connecticut: Will I be able to Drive to Work?
If you have been arrested for DUI in Connecticut pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 14-227a and face a suspension to your license pursuant to § 14-227b you may qualify for a Special Operator’s Permit, also known as a suspended license work permit. The Special Operator’s permit allows you to drive to work, school, or medical appointments during your Connecticut DUI suspension.
Eligibility for a Connecticut Special Operator’s Permit
The special operator’s permit is generally only available to first time offenders. If your official Connecticut Driving History does not show any DUI related suspensions or show more three or more moving violations, you will likely qualify for a Special Operator’s Permit. DUI related suspensions are maintained on your driving history for ten years. Non-DUI related violations are generally maintained on your official driving history for three years. Ultimately, the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles has discretion to grant or not grant a Special Operator’s permit. But as a general rule, if you are eligible for the permit, the DMV will issue it to you as long as they are able to make the appropriate verifications.
Applying for a Connecticut Special Operator’s Permit
The first step in obtaining a Connecticut Special Operator’s Permit is making an application to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles “DMV.” On the application, you will include your personal identifying information as well as in the information for your employer, school, or medical professional depending on what type of driving you are seeking.
Your employer, school administrator, or medical professional is then required to sign the permit and verify under oath that the information is true and accurate. You then need to indicate to the DMV that you will face a hardship if the permit is not issued and that other means of transportation are not readily available. You then need to sign the permit and submit it to the DMV along with a $100.00 application fee.
Note that if you are self-employed, you need to submit proof of self-employment. Acceptable forms of self-employment include tax returns, business formation papers, and filings with the Connecticut Secretary of State. Note also that if you have an out-of-state license and you are applying for in-state driving privileges, you must also submit a certified copy of driving history from the licensing state.
Obtaining a Connecticut Special Operator’s Permit
Once the DMV receives your application for a Special Operator’s Permit, your official driving history will be reviewed to determine whether you are eligible. After the DMV determines that you are eligible, a representative from the DMV will contact your employer, school, or medical provider, generally by telephone, to verify that the information on the permit is true and accurate. If you are self-employed, the DMV will generally verify this with the Secretary of State. After verification is made, the DMV will then issue the permit through the mail.
Limited Scope of Connecticut’s Special Operator’s Permit
Upon receiving the permit, you will be able to drive for limited purposes and at limited times. If you drive outside of the terms of the permit, you can be arrested and charged with Driving Under Suspension pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 14-215(c) and face mandatory jail time. The work permit only applies to the DUI suspension which is 45 days. After the 45-day suspension expires, so does the permit. At that time, you must have an approved Ignition Interlock Device “IID” in your vehicle in order to drive.
The Importance of Having an Attorney when Applying for a Special Operator’s Permit
It generally takes the DMV 7-10 business days to issue a Connecticut Special Operator’s permit. You have a limited window to make the application so that there is no gap between the time your license goes under the suspension and the time you are issued the permit. Depending on when and how you apply, it could take even longer. A Connecticut DUI attorney can guide you through this process and seek to expedite the application. In addition, applications for those with out-of-state driving credentials, variable schedules, and various types of employment, schooling, and medical appointments present confusing and technical issues with the application. An attorney can help you draft the application so that it is tailored to your specific situation and so that every allowable driving scenario is covered in your Connecticut Special Operator’s Permit Application.
If facing Connecticut DUI charges, it is important you enlist the legal guidance of a DUI defense attorney immediately.
If you are charged with a DUI, contact our Connecticut DUI attorneys at The Sills Law Firm to discuss your legal options. Our firm is not afraid to challenge police reports or witness testimonies on your behalf.
The Sills Law Firm defends Connecticut criminal cases statewide and maintains offices in Hartford and Waterbury. In addition to Hartford and Waterbury, the Firm regularly appears in the following courts: Danbury, Derby, Meriden, Middletown, Manchester, Enfield, New Britain, Torrington, Rockville, Milford, and New Haven.