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Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

Every Connecticut DUI Conviction Comes With a Mandatory Minimum

Law Office of Douglas D. Rudolph
Hand With Beer

Connecticut doesn’t play around with DUI convictions. The state has made it abundantly clear that it takes driving under the influence seriously and will do what it takes to reduce the numbers.

One way of doing this is through the use of mandatory minimum sentencing. Every level of DUI in the state of Connecticut will see you in jail along with other penalties.

Understanding what the law says and what the penalties are is important for drinkers. This can help you to stay below the legal limit and make safe decisions when choosing whether to drive after drinking.

What are Connecticut DUI Laws?

Connecticut law defines driving under the influence in two primary ways. The first of these statutes state that a person cannot drive a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The second of these statutes says:

“with an “elevated” blood alcohol content (BAC). A person is under the influence if his ability to drive is affected to an appreciable degree. The maximum allowable BAC depends on the driver’s age and the type of vehicle he or she is operating.”

According to the law, drivers over the age of 21 are considered to have an elevated blood alcohol level if at 0.8% BAC or above. For a commercial motor vehicle, such as a large transportation or cargo truck, a person has an elevated blood alcohol level at 0.04%. If a person is under the age of 21 then they are considered to have an elevated blood alcohol level at 0.02% or above.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Connecticut

Driving under the influence is charged at different levels depending on how severe the crime is and surrounding factors of the arrest. Contributing factors may include previous convictions for DUI.

First Offense

For a first time DUI arrest in Connecticut, the penalty is up to 6 months in jail with a mandatory minimum of 2 days. Or, a 6 month suspended sentence with probation requiring 100 hours of community service. First-time violators will also be required to pay a fine of between $500 and $1,000. Finally, violaters will also face a 45-day license suspension with a requirement for an ignition interlocking device for a period of 1 year.

Second Offense

If a person has one previous conviction for DUI, the penalties will be more severe during the second conviction. The penalty is up to 2 years in jail with a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days and probation with a requirement for 100 hours of community service. Violaters will also be required to pay a fine between $1,000 and $4,000 with a mandatory 45-day license suspension. There will also be a 3 year requirement to drive with an ignition interlocking device with the first year having a requirement to only drive to and from work and a drug and alcohol abuse treatment program.

Third Offense or More

Gavel and Handcuffs

For the third offense or greater, the penalty for a DUI is up to 3 years in jail with a mandatory minimum of 1 year in jail and probation with a requirement of 100 hours of community service. A fine of between $2,000 and $8,000 will also be levied against those convicted. An additional permanent license suspension with the possibility of review after a period of 2 years.

Aside from these penalties, offenders will be required to attend drug and alcohol abuse treatment courses on top of any extra requirements imposed by the court. This is in addition to the potential for lost wages due to jail time or inability to drive to work and other social negatives. Driving under the influence is a serious crime and it’s important to understand the potential ramifications before you decide to drive after drinking.

About the Author

Douglas D. Rudolph practices criminal defense law with two guiding principles in mind: that you are someone who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that you are innocent until proven guilty. Those are beliefs that have served him well so far in New Haven and across Connecticut, where he has built a reputation as someone who truly cares about his clients and will fight aggressively for them. His work has earned him a number of prestigious awards, including landing on The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 list two years in a row and being named to the Top 10 Under 40 by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys in 2018.

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