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Drunk driving: Possible penalties

Connecticut takes driving under the influence seriously, and that can mean serious penalties for those convicted. In this state, drivers are considered over the legal limit if they are over the age of 21 with a blood alcohol content of .08 or above or under 21 with a blood alcohol content of .02 or above. Knowing the possible consequences can help drunk driving defendants get a better understanding of their cases and their options.

Drivers in the state of Connecticut are considered to have given implied consent to be tested for alcohol while driving when they obtained their driver's licenses. This means drivers can immediately lose their licenses for six months if they refuse to take an alcohol analysis test, which can be a breath, urine or blood test.

If a driver is tested and the blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, the penalties depend on how high the blood-alcohol content was and whether it is the person's first offense. There are two types of penalties that those convicted of drunk driving may be subjected to: administrative and criminal. For those over the age of 21, a blood-alcohol content over .08 means no license for a minimum of 90 days, and if the blood-alcohol content is over .16, the license is suspended for 120 days.

Criminal penalties are applied from the state court system instead of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and these criminal penalties are in addition to any administrative penalties already imposed. A first offense can result in a one-year license suspension. A second offense also suspends the license for one year, but the driver must also have an ignition interlock device for the two years after the suspension. Drivers who are convicted of a third DUI may lose their licenses permanently.

Serious charges mean serious penalties, and serious penalties mean the need for a solid defense strategy. Each case is unique, and discussing the possible options with an attorney experienced in representing those charged with DUIs can help those accused begin to move forward.

Source: dmv.org, "DUI & DWI in Connecticut" Sep. 03, 2014

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