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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 concentration (BAC) 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.

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 30 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.

As of July 1st, 2015 all drivers who have refused or failed a chemical test will have their license suspended. The time period will be based on the number of prior incidents, your age and your BAC. You will be required to participate in the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) program.

It is extremely important to note that a BAC of 0.16% or over can add additional and more severe penalties.

If you are convicted for refusing or failing a chemical test your license will be suspended for 45 days and you also will be required to participate in the Ignition Interlock Device program. .

If you were arrested prior to July 1st, 2015 you can send a written request to be part of the IID program AFTER having served at least 45 days of your driver's license suspension time.

Drivers under 21 years old

Refusing a chemical test requires IID installation:

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

Test results of 0.02% or higher requires IID installation:

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

Drivers 21 years old and over

Refusing a chemical test requires IID installation:
  • 1st offense: 1 year.
  • 2nd offense: 2 years.
  • 3rd offense: 3 years.

Test results of 0.08% or higher requires IID installation time period:

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

Ignition Interlock Device

As of July 1st, 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. As of July 1st, 2015 some Administrative penalties can be more severe if you are convicted. These penalties and the criminal penalties can include:

  • Additional driver's license suspension/revocation time.
    • Administrative suspension:
      • 1st offense 45 days license suspension and IID required minimum of 1 year.
      • 2nd offense 45 days license suspension and IID required minimum of 3 years.
      • 3rd offense driver's license revocation minimum of 2 years.*
  • Jail time.
  • Fines.
  • Community service.
  • Bail bond.
  • Towing costs.
  • Attorney costs.
  • Missed work time.
  • Cost of mandatory alcohol education program.

*After you have served 2 years driver's license suspension you may request a reconsideration hearing to restore your license by calling the Administrative Per Se Unit at (860) 263-5204.

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