Connecticut DOT provides grants to increase DUI enforcement
Connecticut DOT provides grants to increase DUI enforcement

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Connecticut DOT provides grants to increase DUI enforcement

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Connecticut's Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued grants to police departments throughout the state. These grants are intended to supplement DUI detection and enforcement efforts by providing funding for officers on the state's roadways and allowing the state to conduct more roadside sobriety checkpoints.

The impact of these grants is not yet known, however it is likely that they will result in an increased number of driving under the influence (DUI) charges.

Basics of DUI checkpoints in Connecticut

DUI checkpoints are designed to remove drunk drivers from the road before an accident happens, however some have questioned the constitutionality of the stops. This issue was presented to the Supreme Court in 1990. The Supreme Court found the stops to be constitutional as long as certain guidelines are followed.

One guideline: publicly announcing the checkpoint prior to setting up. The reason behind the announcement stems back to basic protections provided for under the Fourth Amendment. This amendment, responsible for the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, applies to checkpoints. Without announcing the checkpoint, a driver could rightfully argue that the stop was an illegal detention.

Many states appear uncomfortable with the constitutionality of these stops. In fact, eleven states ban the use of sobriety checkpoints.

Impact of DUI charges in Connecticut

In Connecticut, sobriety checkpoints are allowed. During these stops, an officer may test a driver if the presence of alcohol is suspected.

Based on state law, it is illegal to operate a vehicle when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those who drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher are in violation of this law.

Penalties associated with a DUI conviction are harsh in Connecticut, and can include:

  • Driver's license suspension for a minimum of 90 days
  • Monetary fines: $500 - $1,000 for first offense and $1,000 to $4,000 for second offense
  • Imprisonment: 48 hours - six months for first offense and 120 days to two years for second
  • 100 hours community service

In addition to these criminal penalties, a conviction can also make it difficult to find employment and housing. The job market is flooded with applicants, and employers are more likely to carefully screen potential employees. As a result, the presence of a criminal record may deter an employer from making a job offer. Landlords may also run background checks and potentially deny an applicant with a criminal record.

Many costs of a DUI conviction

MSN Money recently conducted an investigation on the cost of a typical DUI conviction. Their findings: a typical DUI costs around $10,000. This tab took into account the cost of fines, fees, insurance increases and bail.

The impact of a DUI conviction in Connecticut is severe, negatively impacting one's finances and professional life. As a result, it is important to take DUI charges seriously. If you are charged with a DUI, contact an experienced Connecticut DUI/DWI defense attorney to help build a strong defense and better ensure your legal rights are protected.