Connecticut DUI/OUI Laws and Penalties
In the state of Connecticut, receiving a DUI conviction (which is called an OUI, or operating under the influence) is a serious situation. If you’re convicted of a OUI, you could face penalties that span the gamut from a fine all the way up to lengthy prison sentences. In most cases, you’ll have to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) even after your first offense. Understanding Connecticut OUI laws is critical, especially if you’ve been charged with or convicted of a OUI. However, the legal system can be complicated, and determining which laws apply to your situation can be difficult.
Here are the basic Connecticut OUI laws that every driver in the state should know.
Is it Legal to Drive? BAC Levels and Legality in Connecticut
In the state of Connecticut, it’s always illegal to drive if your BAC level is 0.08% or higher. This law applies to every driver, regardless of age or occupation. However, if you are an underage driver, having any alcohol in your system is illegal. Here are some BAC laws you should be aware of if you’re driving in Connecticut.
- Under 21 – If you’re under the age of 21, a BAC of 0.01% is illegal. If you’re pulled over and your BAC test shows any alcohol, it’s automatically considered to be illegal because you’re not of legal drinking age.
- Under 18 – Any measurable sign of alcohol while driving a vehicle is illegal in the state of Connecticut. In some cases, you may be required to go to juvenile court.
- Commercial Vehicle – If you’re driving a vehicle that requires a commercial license in the state of Connecticut and you’re given a sobriety test, any level above 0.04% is considered illegal due to the fact that commercial drivers have increased responsibilities and often have larger payloads than the average commuter.
- Repeat Offender – If you’re a repeat offender, the law varies as to what’s acceptable. Consult your attorney for information relating to your specific case.
Circumstantial DUI/OUI Laws in Connecticut
Aside from age restrictions, you’ll also face a variety of penalties depending on your specific situation. Connecticut OUI laws assign different penalties to different drivers depending on how many offenses they’ve had in the past for driving under the influence or drunk driving. While each situation is different and it’s important to consult your attorney for case-specific information, here are the basic laws governing Connecticut OUI convictions.
In the state of Connecticut, your first DUI offense can carry with it some steep penalties. Here’s what you can expect if you’ve been convicted of a DUI/DWI in Connecticut for the first time.
- Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000.
- License Suspension of a minimum of one year. You’ll automatically get a suspension of a year if you refuse to take the BAC test.
- Imprisonment of anywhere from two days to six months in jail depending on your BAC level and other circumstances.
- IID installation – Connecticut does not require you to install an IID for your first offense.
If you’re caught drinking and driving for a second time in Connecticut, you’ll be imposed to the same variety of penalties that you were on your first offense. However, the severity of most of these penalties will be increased. You may be subjected to any one of the following penalties, or a combination thereof, if you obtain a second OUI conviction in Connecticut.
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.
- License suspension of up to a year.
- Imprisonment that can last from 120 days to two years.
- IID installation will be required for a period of time to be decided by the courts.
While the fines remain about the same for third-time OUI offenders in Connecticut, the prison time and length of license suspension can increase greatly. Here’s the typical set of penalties you’ll be facing if you’re convicted of a third OUI in Connecticut.
- Fines ranging from $2,000 to $8,000..
- License suspension will be permanent if you’re convicted of a third OUI in the state of Connecticut.
- Imprisonment from one to three years.
- IID installation will not be necessary because you will not have a license. However, if you’re able to apply for and receive restricted driving privileges, you will probably have to install an ignition interlock device in order to obtain those privileges.
Restricted Driving Privileges in Connecticut
There is no information available as to the specific process behind a restricted driving permit or license in Connecticut. If one is available, you’ll have to discuss that option with your Connecticut DUI/OUI attorney. Permanent license suspension only occurs after your third offense, but if you’re subject to that penalty, you might not have access to restricted privileges. Typically, most states will allow you to negotiate for restricted privileges if you have a license suspension that is not permanent, however, because they understand that you need to be able to go to work, school, the store, and similar places of necessity. If you are granted restricted driving privileges in Connecticut, the installation of an IID will almost certainly be required.
IID Installation in Connecticut
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in Connecticut and you’re required to install an IID, that installation will be initiated by a court order. Once you receive the order from the court you can go to a state-approved service provider for your IID installation. Depending on your county and unique situation, your court order may require you to have an IID installation that comes with a DMV connection. Only a state-approved and registered service provider will be able to fulfill the court order and help you get back on track.
While the installation of an IID can restore some of your driving privileges, you won’t always be able to drive anywhere you please. In some cases, you’ll be restricted only to work, school, and necessary appointments. Further legal proceedings and ongoing maintenance of your IID device and scheduled appointments will likely also be required.
While the information reflected here is current as of this writing, laws do change from time to time and unique circumstances may change the penalties and requirements that you’re subject to. Contact your attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your specific case.