In Connecticut the terms driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), and drunk driving all refer to the same crime, and are often used interchangeably. You can be arrested for DUI in the state of Connecticut in one of two ways. The first way is if your driving is obviously impaired due to the presence of alcohol or drugs in your system. This can be proven through your driving pattern, failure of field sobriety tests, or the results of your chemical test. Also, if you are given a chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test, and it comes back indicating that your BAC was .08% or higher, you can be arrested for DUI based on the state's per se laws, even if your driving did not appear to be impaired. Either way you will face the same penalties.
What happens to DUI arrests in CT area?
There are two things that you will have to go through in such case. Firstly you will have to go to Connecticut Superior Court in the Geographic Area and defend yourself in front of judge regarding your DUI arrest. Secondly your local DMV will contact you and suspend your driver's license due to traffic law violation. Sometimes you won't receive this DMV suspension notice as the DUI arrest report in CT was not filed at DMV within certain period of time.
If you are arrested for a Connecticut DUI, you will face two separate cases. The first case is the criminal court case. This is where you are assigned the majority of your consequences. The other case is the Connecticut DMV Hearing. If you do not request a hearing, you will automatically have your license suspended. You will not have the right to argue your case first. Having a DUI lawyer working with you is essential, because the state only gives you seven days to file the request for the hearing. If you file late or improperly, you will automatically lose your license.
You are required by law to submit to a blood or breath test to determine your BAC. If you refuse the test, you will face at least six months of license suspension. This information can be used against you in court. Connecticut DUI offenses are considered a part of your record for 10 years. After 10 years, a new DUI offense will be considered a first time offense.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If you are convicted of your first Connecticut DUI offense, or your first offense in 10 years, you will face the following consequences:
If you and your lawyer decide to plea bargain, you can avoid going to jail by serving 100 hours of community service. If you are convicted of subsequent DUI offenses, you will face stronger penalties.License Suspensions for Connecticut DUI
Along with the court-imposed punishments, you will also face an administrative license suspension as a result of your Connecticut DUI conviction. The license suspension times are as follows:
These suspensions may go in effect before you have your criminal court date, so be sure to request your hearing as soon as possible after your arrest. You may be able to apply for a special permit that allows you to drive to and from work while you are serving your suspension.Insurance Consequences
Lest you think you are done with the consequences you will face as a result of your DUI conviction, you will also need to deal with your insurance company. Car insurance companies are often unwilling to insure drivers with DUI convictions. If your current company is one of these, you may find that your coverage is dropped. Finding new coverage may be difficult as a result of your newly tarnished driving record. If you are not dropped, your rates will increase.