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DUI & DWI in Connecticut

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For the past two decades, Connecticut has been out in front compared to other states in the fight against operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI). So you can expect to be hit hard if you get arrested for OUI, especially if you are under 21 years old.

What is a OUI?

Keep these numbers in mind before you get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol: You are considered to be OUI (This is also known as DUI in other states) if you register 0.08% or above on a blood-alcohol test. If you are under 21 years old, you only have to register 0.02% or over.

Blood-alcohol level depends on a lot of factors, including the amount of time between drinks, the amount of food in your body, your weight, and your physical condition.

Implied Consent

When you get your driver's license, you are subject to an "implied consent" law, meaning that, by getting your license, you give your consent to be tested for OUI anytime. If you refuse a OUI test, you are breaking that implied consent law. Your license will be suspended for a period of time determined by how many offenses you've committed.

Administrative Per Se Penalties

Connecticut has strong mandatory penalties, even for a 1st OUI offense. You will face are administrative penalties (Administrative Per Se) from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These penalties are in addition to any criminal charges.

If your license is suspended under Administrative Per Se you will have 7 days to request a hearing if you wish to contest the suspension. If you do not request a hearing your license will be suspended 31 days after your arrest for failing a BAC or refusing to take one. You will receive the notice of suspension by mail from the Administrative Per Se Unit of the DMV. If you wish to schedule a hearing or have any questions about your suspension you can contact the Administrative Per Se Unit at (860) 263-5204.

If you are arrested for failing or refusing a chemical test, the length of time your license will be suspended depends on your age, BAC and number of previous offenses.

Drivers 16 and 17 years old

Refusing a chemical test driver's license suspension:

  • 1st offense: 18 months.
  • 2nd offense: 3 years.
  • 3rd offense: 6 years.

Test results of 0.02% or higher but under 0.16% driver's license suspension:

  • 1st offense: 1 year.
  • 2nd offense: 2 years.
  • 3rd offense: 4 years.

Test results of 0.16% or higher driver's license suspension:

  • 1st offense: 1 year.
  • 2nd offense: 30 months.
  • 3rd offense: 5 years.

Drivers 18 through 20 years old

Refusing a chemical test driver's license suspension:
  • 1st offense: 1 year.
  • 2nd offense: 2 years.
  • 3rd offense: 6 years.

Test results of 0.02% or higher but under 0.16% driver's license suspension:

  • 1st offense: 6 months.
  • 2nd offense: 18 months.
  • 3rd offense: 4 years.

Test results of 0.16% or higher driver's license suspension:

  • 1st offense: 240 days.
  • 2nd offense: 20 months.
  • 3rd offense: 5 years.

Drivers 21 years old and over

Refusing a chemical test driver's license suspension:
  • 1st offense: 6 months.
  • 2nd offense: 1 year.
  • 3rd offense: 3 years.

Test results of 0.08% or higher but under 0.16% driver's license suspension:

  • 1st offense: 90 days.
  • 2nd offense: 9 months.
  • 3rd offense: 2 years.

Test results of 0.16% or higher driver's license suspension:

  • 1st offense: 120 days.
  • 2nd offense: 10 months.
  • 3rd offense: 30 months.

Ignition Interlock Device

As of July 2015 anyone arrested for refusing a chemical test or failing a chemical test will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on their vehicle. You will be required to:

Submit the completed form and all fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The time you will be required to have an IID will depend on your age, number of offenses and your BAC. The time period can be anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. You will be informed of the duration you will be required to have the IID on the restoration and approval notice which will be mailed to you.

OUI Criminal Penalties

Criminal penalties from the state court system apply as well. These penalties result from a OUI conviction, and are imposed in addition to the administrative penalties from the DMV. Criminal penalties can include:

  • Additional driver's license suspension/revocation time.
  • Jail time.
  • Fines.
  • Community service.
  • Bail bond.
  • Towing costs.
  • Attorney costs.
  • Missed work time.
  • Cost of mandatory alcohol education program.

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