DUI in Connecticut

If you are arrested for DUI in Connecticut, you will face two separate cases. There will be a court case, where the prosecutor will seek a full array of DWI punishments, and a Connecticut DMV Hearing, where your license may be suspended or restricted.

Connecticut uses the terms DUI, DWI and drunk driving interchangeably, and all apply to one type of case: driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs.

Possible Connecticut DUI Offenses include:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both
  • If under the age of 21, driving with a BAC of .02 or greater

Connecticut DUI Penalties

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $500-1,000 2 days to 6 months
1 year
2nd Conviction $1,000-4,000 120 days - 2 years 1 year*
3rd Conviction $2,000-8,000 1 year - 3 years

*After the initial 1 year suspension an ignition interlock device will be required for 2 years

If you are convicted of DUI, you will receive a minimum fine of $500 and between 48 hours and six month's jail time, which may be suspended with 100 hours community service, and a suspension of one year. Further penalties for a second or third conviction are described in the table above.

Administrative repercussions, which are independent and in addition to the court's judgment, may include a 90 to 180 day license suspension.

Request a DMV Hearing Within Seven Days

You must request a DMV hearing within seven days of your arrest or risk the automatic suspension of your driver's license.

Court Actions

If you are arrested for drunk driving in Connecticut, you may be prosecuted under one or both of two theories. Firstly, you cannot legally drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. Your blood alcohol level at the time of arrest will not matter in this type of DUI case. Your conviction will depend on the prosecutor proving impairment. Impairment can be proven by driving pattern and your performance on sobriety tests. The chemical test is not necessary for this type of prosecution but may be considered if it supports the DWI case.

Secondly, you may be prosecuted for violating the state's "per se" laws. It is a crime in Connecticut to drive with a BAC of 0.08 per cent or higher. Under this theory, it does not matter whether you can be shown to be impaired. This type of drunk driving prosecution in Connecticut is based entirely on blood alcohol levels. Mental or physical impairment is irrelevant to this type of Connecticut DUI.

Chemical Testing and Implied Consent Laws

Under Connecticut state law, any licensed person operating a motor vehicle automatically gives his or her consent to submit to an approved test (blood, breath, or urine) for the purposes of showing intoxication. If you refuse, your license will be automatically suspended for a period of at least six months.

A blood test must be explicitly consented to and must be administered by a doctor, nurse, lab technician, emergency medical technician, or phlebotomist.

Ten-Year Look-Back Period

Connecticut DWI law has what's called a ten-year look-back period. If you have a drunk driving conviction further in the past than the 10-year look-back period, and you are arrested for drunk driving in Connecticut, it will be treated as a first offense. If you have one or more prior convictions within the 10-year look-back period, however, those offenses will count as prior convictions in your current drunk driving case.

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