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DUI Penalties in Connecticut

How Serious Are DUI Conviction Penalties?

If you are pulled over by law enforcement officials in the state of Connecticut while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be charged with DUI. The legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level is under .08 for drivers over the age of 21, under .02 for drivers under the age of 21, and under .04 for operators of commercial vehicles. DUI charges are taken very seriously in Connecticut, and having aggressive DUI attorneys at your side during the legal process can mean the difference between a positive outcome and receiving the maximum amount of punishment allowed under the law.

Below are the penalties that DUI convictions may carry:

  • First offense: Up to six months in jail, $500 to $1,000 in fines, and a license suspension of 45 days
  • Second offense: Up to two years in jail, $1,000 to $4,000 in fines, a one year license suspension, and the installation of an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) in your vehicles
  • Third offense: Up to three years in jail, $2,000 to $8,000 in fines, and a permanent license suspension

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Chemical BAC Chemical Test Refusal & Implied Consent

In addition to the above penalties, Connecticut also has an implied consent law with respect to BAC chemical tests. This means that, while you have the right to refuse taking this test, it will lead to an automatic license suspension and fine. The suspensions can range from six months to three years, depending on how many past convictions you have on your record.

Possible Remedies for a First DUI Offense

If you have been arrested for a first-time DUI in Connecticut and you believe that obtaining a not-guilty verdict will be quite difficult, there is still a way to avoid a criminal conviction—even before going to trial. Connecticut offers a program, known as the Alcohol Education Program (AEP), which allows first-time offenders a second opportunity to avoid being charged with a DUI.

The AEP requires defendants to attend one-hour long classes once a week—for up to 10 or 15 weeks. Attendance is the only thing that is mandatory, which means there are no tests, assignments, or even alcohol or drug testing involved.

As part of the program, defendants are also required to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel.

Once you complete the program, your charges will be dismissed, and your criminal record will remain clean.

The AEP is not available for second, third, or subsequent DUI offenses.

Our Connecticut DUI Attorneys Can Help You Explore Alternatives to Incarceration

While the penalties for DUI convictions may be very severe, there are often alternatives to incarceration, including suspended sentences, probation, lifestyle restrictions, random testing, and more. Our criminal defense team can help you explore all the alternatives that are available to you and fight tirelessly to help you avoid the harshest penalties.

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