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What is a DUI and a DWI in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, there is no DWI law, and operating a vehicle under the influence of any substance is known as either Operating under the Influence (OUI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI), according to CGS §§ 14–227a and CGS §§ 14–227b. Per the statutes, it is unlawful for an individual to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The offense is punishable with or without evidence of the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) as long as the court establishes that the individual’s ability to drive is impaired. Under CGS §§ 14–227b, the state Implied Consent Law allows the state to carry out a breathalyzer test on any motor vehicle operator in Connecticut. If BAC is.08 or higher,.02% or higher in drivers under 21 years old, or.04% or higher for commercial drivers, then intoxication is established per CGS § 14–227g, and the road user will face arrest and prosecution. The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) oversees penalties for road traffic violations and offenses.

What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in Connecticut

In Connecticut, Operating Under the Influence (OUI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) refers to when an individual’s driving is impaired due to intoxication from alcohol, drugs, or other substances. The Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) law applies in some states but not in Connecticut. There is also a zero-tolerance law used to curb and punish drinking and driving amongst underage individuals in line with the legal drinking age of 21 years old. For this, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is.02%.

What happens when you get a DUI for the First Time in Connecticut?

Due to the illegality of operating a motor vehicle in Connecticut with an increased blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or under the influence of drugs, or other substances, any individual found guilty is prosecuted accordingly. The Operating under the Influence (OUI) law has a.08% BAC limit for drivers 21 years old and above and a.02% BAC limit for drivers under 21 years old. The typical penalties for first-time offenders include jail time, a fine, and probation, while the administrative penalties are license suspension and ignition interlock device (IID) restriction. OUI is a misdemeanor offense and is therefore prosecuted in a criminal court while the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for the administrative proceedings. According to CGS § 14–227n, the driver faces between a compulsory minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of six months of jail time, between $500 and $1000 in fines, a term of probation, 45 days license suspension, and one-year of ignition interlock device (IID) restriction. Other fees include court costs, $175 to restore driver license after the period of suspension, $100 processing fee for IID, and a $200 probation fee.

How Likely is Jail Time After a First DUI in Connecticut?

Not likely. Although the judge cannot suspend the 48 hours mandatory minimum incarceration rule, the law gives room for the defendant to perform 100 hours of community service in place of the 48 hours in jail, which is what most drivers choose to do. The judge can suspend sentences above the mandatory minimum sentence, depending on the judge’s discretion, and most judges usually suspend the sentence.

What are the Typical Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Connecticut?

Penalties for DUI conviction in Connecticut are evaluated based on a ten years timespan. DUI convictions from other states with similar DUI laws are considered as prior convictions and will appear on the driver’s criminal history. In Connecticut, an individual’s first conviction is usually the second time of arrest and charges. However, there is a provision in Connecticut’s DUI law that allows the driver to apply to the court to take part in a Pretrial Alcohol Education Program that, if completed successfully, the court will dismiss the defendant’s DUI charge. The defendant will also swear an oath attesting not to have attended the program in the last ten years. The penalties for DUI conviction in order of recurrence are:

  • A First Offense DUI: The punishment includes up to six months in jail time and a payable fine of between $500 and $1000. If the court suspends the jail time, the driver must undertake 100 hours of community service and get 12 to 24-month probation terms. Also, there is the suspension of the driver’s license for 45 days, followed by a one-year ignition interlock device (IID) restriction.
  • Second Offence DUI: If this occurs within ten years after the first conviction, it is punishable by up to two years of jail time with a compulsory 120 days jail time, a probation term with a required 100 hours of community service, a payable fine of between $1000 and $4000, and suspension of the driver’s license for 45 days. After that, the driver must install and use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. In the first year, the driver is limited to driving to and from work, school, an alcohol or drug treatment center, or an Ignition Interlock Device Service Center. The offender must also go through a drug or alcohol assessment done by the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division and treatment by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services as seen in CGS § 14–111(i)(2). 
  • Third or Subsequent Offence DUI: This is a felony, and if this occurs within ten years after the first conviction, the penalties attached to it include up to three years in prison with a compulsory minimum of one year in prison and a probation term with a required 100 hours of community service. A fine between $2000 to $8000, and permanent revocation of driver’s license, which can later be reduced after meeting some conditions, also apply. Per CGS § 14–111(i)(2), guilty parties will go through a drug or alcohol assessment and treatment program organized by the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Connecticut?

DUI convictions stay on an individual’s record for life, and the only way to get it off is through a pardon. An offender is only eligible to apply for pardon three years after the conclusion of the case, and the chances of the court granting it are very slim. The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues and maintains these records for the state.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How do I Find DUI Checkpoints in Connecticut?

Checkpoints are legal in Connecticut and function at different dates and times. The location of the checkpoints is available electronically. Hence, interested parties can search online.

Which is Worse; a DUI or DWI?

Considering Connecticut only has OUI or DUI laws and does not identify DWI laws, the comparison between both offenses is not possible. Connecticut maintains a zero-tolerance rule for drunk driving, and the penalties for DUI offenses get more severe with the recurrence rate within ten years.

What is an Aggravated DWI in Connecticut?

The aggravated DWI charge does not exist in the Connecticut OUI or DUI laws. Notwithstanding, when a blood alcohol content (BAC) is.16 percent, or there is a minor in the vehicle, it is an aggravated DUI. Following Connecticut DUI law, the administrative penalty includes license suspension for 120 days for the first offense, ten months for the second offense, and two and a half years for the third or subsequent offense. The offender will face prosecution as well.

What Happens When You Get a DWI in Connecticut?

Unlike other states in the US, Connecticut does not recognize DWI under the Connecticut OUI or DUI laws. In Connecticut, a driver can only face DUI or OUI charges. The penalties attached to each conviction depend on the number of times the party has been arrested and charged with the same offense in the last ten years in Connecticut or a state with similar OUI or DUI laws.

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