Connecticut DUI Basics
Driving under the influence can often easily be prosecuted as the law in Connecticut states that any individual who decides to drive must consent to chemical testing. Chemical testing includes breath, blood, and urine testing for blood alcohol content levels. Those who are under the age of twenty-one give chemical testing consent through their parents or guardians. In both these circumstances consent is implied.
In order for consent to actually be implied a police officer will, upon arrest and prior to test administration, notify the individual of his or her rights under the United States Constitution, allow the individual to call his or her attorney, notify the individual that his or her driver’s license will be suspended on test refusal, and notify the individual that testing refusal will most likely be used for further prosecution. Driver’s license suspension for refusal can be as much as six months.
Connecticut DUI Prosecution
The state has the right to prosecute an individual even if no blood alcohol content level has been obtained. This can be done through proof of impairment. Connecticut law states that a DUI conviction can be made on the grounds that an individual was too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. The prosecution will present evidence to the court outlining how the individual was impaired.
Evidence can include record of the individual’s personal appearance, field sobriety testing, and driving patterns. If the individual has refused to take a blood alcohol content test the court infers that he or she is guilty. If a blood alcohol content test was taken, this can also act as evidence for the prosecution but will not always act as an indicator of impairment. An individual may have a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit and he or she can still not be considered impaired.
Driving under the influence charges can also be prosecuted through per se law. Under per se law the prosecution will not attempt to prove an individual was impaired, instead he or she will seek to prove that the individual’s blood alcohol content percentage was above the legal limit. Under per se laws an individual will almost always be convicted of driving under the influence if his or her blood alcohol content was at 0.08 percent or over. Physical impairment and sobriety tests will not be necessary for the prosecution.
Connecticut DUI Penalties
Penalties in Connecticut depend on the number of prior incidents and the circumstances of the offense. If a child was in the car when the arrest was made the penalty will increase severely, without considering the number of prior offenses. A first-time DUI conviction will earn a fine between five hundred and one thousand dollars, incarceration between forty-eight hours and six months, driver’s license suspension for one year, and community service for one hundred hours.
A second offense will earn a fine between one thousand and four thousand dollars, incarceration between one hundred twenty days and two years, one hundred hours of community service, and three years of driver’s license suspension. A third offense will earn a fine between two thousand and eight thousand dollars, incarceration between one year and three years, one hundred hours of community service, and permanent license suspension. Minors are often prosecuted the same as adults.