Despite increased efforts across the nation to curb the problem, driving under the influence continues to be a major problem on the roadways. Serious injuries and even death occur every year across the New Haven area due to an intoxicated driver causing a drunk driving accident. Here is a brief overview of the DUI laws in Connecticut.
There are two main factors in the state’s DUI law. The first is a statute that prohibits any person from operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or with a blood alcohol content that is determined to be in an elevated state. The second aspect of this law is that of “implied consent,” that is, a motorist consents to testing for alcohol and drugs just by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Those who refuse such tests can have their license suspended.
Whether or not BAC is considered to be elevated depends on the driver’s age. Those drivers over 21 years of age are considered impaired if their blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher. If a driver is under 21, a BAC of .02 percent or higher is considered elevated.
DUI is a serious crime in Connecticut, carrying criminal penalties of license suspension, fines and even prison terms. If fatalities result from a drunk driving accident, charges of second-degree manslaughter can be filed. Other serious injuries can see charges of second degree assault with a motor vehicle.
License suspension is for a minimum of 45 days for those drivers over 21, following which only ignition interlock-enabled vehicles may be driven for a period of time specified based on the frequency of offense. Second time offenders will only be allowed to drive to work, school, drug and alcohol treatment programs or interlock centers. Drivers who are convicted of DUI three times will have their license revoked.
Certain individuals may see the charges dropped if they complete an authorized substance abuse treatment and education program. If you have been the victim of an accident caused by a drunk driver, it may be beneficial to speak with an experienced attorney about your case.