Driving under the influence (DUI) is an offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Penalties for drinking and driving in the State of Connecticut are severe, and do not constitute a minor traffic violation. Connecticut’s DUI law consists primarily of two statutes, CGS §§ 14-227a and -227b. The first prohibits a person from driving (1) while “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs or (2) with an “elevated” blood alcohol content (BAC). A person is under the influence if his ability to drive is affected to an appreciable degree. The maximum allowable BAC depends on the driver’s age, and the type of vehicle.
Types of DWI offense
All states divide DUI offenses into three major groups: misdemeanor DUI, felony DUI, and vehicular manslaughter.
- Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI):
A new misdemeanor intoxication offense in New York was added in the summer of 2006. It is called Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI). This offense is charged when a blood alcohol reading of .18% or greater is determined by a chemical test. If convicted of ADWI, the possible penalties are much greater than a conviction for either “per se” or “common law” DWI.
- Misdemeanor DUI: A driver who is pulled over and tests for blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or higher is typically charged with a misdemeanor DUI. If this is the first offense, the driver’s license might be suspended for several months, the driver might be required to pay a fine, and the judge might also order alcohol counselling.
- Felony DUI: Felony DUI is a more serious DUI charge that is typically used in situations where the intoxicated driver has caused a car accident and injury. Repeated DWI offenses, very high blood alcohol content, and resisting the DWI arrest is also considered as Felony DUI. A Felony DUI happens when someone is convicted of a DUI with factors, such as driving on a revoked license, or with children in the vehicle.
- Vehicular Manslaughter: Vehicular manslaughter is committed when an intoxicated driver causes the death of another, whether a passenger in the drunk driver’s car or a driver or passenger of another car. Some states allow drunk drivers who have caused a vehicular manslaughter to be convicted of second degree murder if certain factors are present.
DWI Penalties in Connecticut
Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Connecticut and carries certain minimum mandatory penalties, even for a first offense. Such penalties can include fines, jail and a driver’s license suspension.
In Connecticut, an adult person is considered driving under the influence if their blood alcohol level is 0.08 % or greater, for commercial vehicle operator the level is considered BAC of 0.04% or above. An individual under the age of 21 is considered to be under the influence if their blood alcohol level is 0.02 % or greater. A first DUI offense carries a fine of between $500 to $1,000, a 48-hour mandatory minimum jail sentence with the possibility of up to six months in jail or 100 hours of community service, and a license suspension of up to one year. A second DUI offense carries a fine of between $1,000 and $4,000, a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail with up to a two-year maximum, 100 hours of community service, and a three-year license suspension. If you are under 21, your license will be suspended until you reach 21 or for three years, whichever is longer. A third DUI offense carries a fine of between $2,000 and $8,000, a minimum mandatory sentence of one year in jail or up to three years in jail, 100 hours of mandatory community service, and the permanent revocation of your license. As an individual receives more drunk driving charges, however, the severity of the punishment increases dramatically.
Additionally, your license could be suspended longer if you refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test or your blood alcohol is significantly higher than .08 or .16.
What to do if you are arrested for DWI offense
If you have been arrested under Connecticut DUI laws for Connecticut DUI, Connecticut drunk driving, or Connecticut DWI, please contact a Connecticut DUI defense attorney to protect your driving privileges. Failure to do so may create problems for you, including license suspension, hefty fines, and incarceration. If you get arrested by police, do not give any statements in your defense, as police can use those statements against you. Remember to hire a DUI Attorney in Bridgeport, Milford and Connecticut. Do not submit to an interview, not even in front of your family or friends, without your lawyer present.
Whether this is your first DUI offense or you have been charged multiple times, the experienced Bridgeport criminal defense attorneys of the law office of attorney Ganim can help you.
Driving under the influence is a criminal offense and you need experienced legal representation. Bridgeport DWI attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. has successfully represented individuals with alcohol related driving offenses for over 28 years. If you have received your second, third or even fourth DUI in Bridgefield, Milford and Connecticut, you need an aggressive lawyer to protect your rights. Call our experienced DWI attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. by phone at (203)713-8383 or (475)298-1377 for a free consultation.