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Fairfield CT DUI defense attorneyIn Connecticut, when a law enforcement officer pulls a driver over with reasonable suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), they will often ask the driver to take a chemical alcohol test such as a breathalyzer. If the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or more (or 0.02 percent or more for an underage driver) he or she will be arrested and charged with DUI. If you or a loved one was recently arrested under these circumstances, you may wonder if it is possible that the breathalyzer results were inaccurate.

How Does a Breath Alcohol Test Work?

If you have ever been in a crowded bar, you have probably noticed that the smell of alcohol can linger on a person’s breath. Breath alcohol tests like breathalyzers test the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath and use this to determine the person’s blood alcohol content. The two types of breath alcohol testing devices used by police are preliminary alcohol screening devices and evidential breath test devices. A preliminary alcohol screening device or portable breath test is typically used during a traffic stop. These handheld devices are smaller and more convenient for roadside BAC testing than evidential breath test devices; however, they can also be less accurate than evidential breath test devices.

Breath Alcohol Testing Errors

Breathalyzers are carefully designed and calibrated to be as accurate as possible. However, it is possible for a preliminary alcohol screening device or evidential breath test device to display an inaccurate BAC. Errors may be caused by:

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Norwalk CT underage DUI defense lawyerAs it is in every state, it is illegal to drive in Connecticut while impaired by alcohol. For adults, the standard often used to determine if a motorist is impaired according to the law is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above. However, the same rules do not apply to drivers under 21 years of age. For underage drivers, it is unlawful to drive with a BAC greater than 0.02. Even just a single drink may elevate a young person’s BAC to a level that makes it illegal to drive. If your child has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), it is important to educate yourself about the consequences he or she faces as well as the rights of underage criminal defendants in Connecticut.

Criminal and Administrative Proceedings for Underage DUI in Connecticut

There are two categories of penalties DUI offenders face in Connecticut. Administrative penalties include an immediate 6-month driver’s license suspension. If the underage offender has previously been arrested and charged with DUI, the license suspension period is increased to one year. If the driver is under 18 years old, the police may seize the driver’s license upon arrest and have their car towed.

A first-time underage DUI offender faces criminal penalties including a jail sentence of up to six months, up to $1,000 in fines, and probation. The offender may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle he or she plans to drive after the suspension period is up.

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Connecticut DUI defense attorneyIf you have recently been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, your mind may be racing with questions. You may wonder, “Will I lose my license?” or “Will I go to jail?” You may also worry about how a DUI conviction could affect your employment or educational opportunities. If you have been charged with DUI, the first thing you should do is educate yourself about your rights as a criminal defendant. One of the most important rights you have is the right to consult with a qualified attorney. Your attorney can help you build a strong defense against the charges, help you qualify for a diversion program, and represent your best interests through the proceedings.

Charges Do Not Mean Conviction

If you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you may still have the opportunity to avoid conviction. If the arresting officers did not have probable cause to conduct a traffic stop, the breathalyzer or other blood alcohol content (BAC) tests were inaccurate, or there were other problems with the DUI arrest, you may avoid conviction. You may also be able to participate in a pretrial diversion program. Typically, these programs require participants to participate in drug or alcohol treatment or counseling of some kind. If you complete the program, you could have your charges dismissed entirely.

Penalties for a DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of DUI for the first time, you face up to $1,000 in fines, up to 6 months in jail, a maximum of 100 hours of community service, and suspension of your driver’s license. To regain your ability to drive, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on each of your vehicles. This device requires you to blow into the mouthpiece to start your car. If any alcohol is detected on your breath, your vehicle will not start.

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Norwalk CT DUI defense attorneyIt is against the law in Connecticut to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more, and doing so can result in criminal charges of driving under the influence (DUI). First-time DUI offenders in Connecticut may be penalized by up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines, along with the suspension of their driver’s license and the required installation of an ignition interlock device if they wish to regain driving privileges. If you have already been convicted of DUI within the past ten years and you have been charged with drunk driving for the second time, you may face even harsher penalties.

Penalties for a Second DUI Offense in Connecticut

Connecticut takes DUI offenses very seriously, and a second DUI conviction within ten years is punished differently from a first-time DUI. If you are convicted of a second DUI, you face jail time of up to two years, and unlike a first-time DUI, a second DUI results in a mandatory jail sentence of 120 days. It is possible that a second-time DUI offender may be released from jail before the 120 days are up, but some duration of jail time is likely. You will also be required to perform 100 hours of community service. The administrative penalties for a second DUI conviction include a driver’s license suspension of three years. After 45 days, you may be eligible to regain your driving privileges if you install an ignition interlock device.

How Can I Fight a Second DUI?

The consequences of a second DUI conviction in Connecticut are severe. If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving and you have previously been convicted of DUI, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer right away. Remember, you have a constitutional right to remain silent and decline police questioning until your lawyer is present. Your attorney can help you develop a strong defense against your charges, and if you end up being convicted of DUI, your lawyer can help you take steps to reduce the penalties as much as possible.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_DUI_20201016-020939_1.jpgAnyone who drives a motor vehicle with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) may be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Connecticut. An elevated BAC is defined as 0.08 percent for adults and 0.02 percent for drivers under the age of 21. If convicted of drunk driving, an individual faces an immediate administrative driver’s license suspension and a possible jail sentence of up to 6 months. If the offender’s BAC was significantly above the legal limit, he or she has previously been convicted of DUI, or there are other aggravating factors, the penalties associated with DUI are much more severe. If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI, read on to learn about the legal defenses that may be used to avoid conviction.

Defending Against a Connecticut DUI

To secure a conviction for DUI, prosecutors must prove that a driver’s alcohol consumption led him or her to be intoxicated and therefore unable to operate a vehicle safely. DUI defenses typically fall under one of two categories:

The Evidence Used to Charge The Driver Was Inadequate or Flawed: There are several chemical tests that are used to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content. The most common is a breath alcohol content test such as a Breathalyzer. Blood tests and urine tests may also be used. If the results of these tests are inaccurate, the driver’s true BAC is unknown. A Breathalyzer or other chemical BAC test may yield inaccurate results because the testing instrument was not calibrated correctly or was somehow damaged. BAC test results may also be inaccurate if the police officer or healthcare worker administrating the test administers it incorrectly. Clerical errors such as mislabeled or mixed up test results may also lead to inaccurate results.

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