DUI / OUI Attorney in West Hartford
While drinking and driving is illegal in all states in our country, the specific penalties for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge are established on a state-by-state basis. If you’re arrested and charged with a DUI in Connecticut, you need an experienced Connecticut DUI attorney on your side. An attorney who understands the law in Connecticut and how to build your defense.
What Constitutes a DUI in Connecticut?
A DUI in Connecticut is commonly referred to as an OUI – operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Connecticut law states there are two primary actions that may constitute a DUI/OUI:
- Driving while “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs; or
- Driving with an elevated blood alcohol content (BAC) level.
To be more specific, a person will meet the criteria of the first definition–driving while under the influence–if their ability to drive is affected to an “appreciable degree.” For a typical driver (not a minor under the age of 21 years or a commercial driver), the BAC limit is .08 percent – anything above this limit is a violation of the law. For commercial drivers, this limit is lowered to .04 percent, and for those under 21, the limit is .02 percent.
Penalties for a DUI/OUI Conviction in CT
Being charged with a(n) DUI/OUI is not a conviction but understanding the potential consequences you face if convicted is important. Penalties can vary depending upon whether or not the offense is a first or subsequent offense, the amount of alcohol in the person’s blood, and the person’s age and driver status (standard vs. commercial). You may also face separate penalties if the DUI/OUI results in property damage or bodily injury, or if you breach other laws in committing the DUI/OUI.
For a first-offense DUI/OUI in Connecticut, penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, an incarceration period of at least two days, and an automatic 45-day license suspension followed by a one-year period of driving with the use of an interlock ignition device.
Subsequent offenses are punished more severely, with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 120 days. The potential fine also increases to up to $4,000 for a secondary DUI/OUI offense.
In addition to jail time, the installation of an interlock ignition device and a large fine, a person who is convicted of a(n) DUI/OUI offense may also be placed on probation, ordered to perform community service, and ordered to attend a mandatory alcohol education class.
Implied Consent and DUI/OUI Arrests
In addition to facing the above penalties, if you are arrested for DUI/OUI in Connecticut and you refuse to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer, you may also be penalized for violating the state’s implied consent law. Per the law, when a person drives in the state of Connecticut, he/she gives implied consent to testing of blood or breath if requested by a police officer. While individuals maintain the right to refuse to consent to testing, doing so will result in an automatic six-month license suspension. And while refusing to consent may mean that the prosecution does not have proof of your BAC, this is not a fool-proof strategy for avoiding a conviction.
Defenses to a DUI and Your Options When Facing Criminal Charges in Connecticut
One of the most important reasons to hire a skilled Connecticut DUI/OUI attorney if you have been charged with a(n) DUI/OUI in Connecticut is for assistance in understanding possible defenses and options. While our attorneys will educate you on strategies that are specific to your case, possible defenses might include lack of intoxication; defective breathalyzer or improper blood or breath testing; or lack of probable cause to stop your vehicle in the first place or arrest you.
When defending yourself against charges isn’t feasible due to the fact that the evidence is stacked against you, another option is entering a plea bargain. In a plea bargain, a defendant pleads guilty to charges in exchange for a concession from the prosecution, such as reduced charges or reduced sentencing. Our attorneys can guide you in knowing when this is your best option.
Why Work with The Upton Law Firm?
Being convicted of a(n) DUI/OUI can change your life. Not only may you lose your license and your right to drive (which can affect everything from your ability to get groceries, go to work and more), but you could also have a permanent mark against you on your criminal record. This could affect your ability to gain employment or housing, or to pursue other opportunities.
When you work with The Upton Law Firm, you are working with attorneys who care about the outcome of your case and want the best results for you. Our attorneys are highly experienced in DUI/OUI law, with years of successful criminal defense outcomes. We work with you and the prosecution to reach outcomes that work for you and our criminal defense team will use every available means within the law to defend you. We always put our clients first, and never compromise our values when representing you.
Call Our Law Offices Today
We believe in the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty. When you hire our law firm, we protect your rights under the law, and ensure that unethical practices are not used by the police or prosecution to secure a conviction.
To schedule a free consultation with our law firm and start building your defense today, call us at 860-893-0558, send us a message using the intake form on our website, or visit our West Hartford office in person.