Driving Under the Influence - Page 8
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OUI, DUI, Connecticut DUI defense lawyerChances are you have heard about the alarming OUI (operating under the influence) statistics across the state and the nation, and you might even know someone personally who has been involved with a DUI crime at one point or another. The statistics and the stories you hear at work, in your neighborhood, and around your community are plentiful for a reason: driving under the influence is, sadly, a common crime. The fact that it is so common does not make it acceptable, though; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious criminal offense and is treated as such by Connecticut State law.

How the Offense Is Determined

The state of Connecticut considers driving to be a privilege that one must earn and keep. The state’s Implied Consent Law says that any driver who operates a vehicle is considered to automatically give their consent for alcohol testing the moment they get behind the wheel. In short, if you drive, you are technically--by law--agreeing to be tested for alcohol consumption, should you be pulled over. The state retains its right to prosecute with or without direct evidence of your BAC level. This prosecution is determined by your ability to drive. If you are found to be impaired and your driving ability is affected, the state has the right to prosecute.

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vehicular manslaughter, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyDetermining the most common causes of death in the world is a challenge, one that varies wildly depending on the reporting agency, year, and country. Yet vehicular manslaughter is one that consistently makes the lists year after year, even as other major health crises are addressed and subverted.

Vehicular manslaughter is defined as the unintentional murder of someone while behind the wheel of a car, usually caused by reckless driving or gross negligence. Driving over the speed limit may be considered gross negligence, and thus the vehicular manslaughter charge could be treated as a misdemeanor. Conversely, if the person behind the wheel was drunk at the time of accident in which someone was killed, the charge will likely be a felony because the circumstance in which the person was driving was illegal from the beginning.

In Connecticut, a vehicular manslaughter conviction automatically carries a one-year license suspension and a two-year period in which the person must use an ignition interlock device in his or her car. A large percentage of vehicular manslaughter cases are the result of drunk driving. In Connecticut, this is considered second degree manslaughter, and carries the punishment of a Class C felony, punishable by one to ten years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Between 2001 and 2010, there were 191 second degree manslaughter convictions of this nature in the state.

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holiday, DUI, Connecticut DUI defense attorneyThe holiday season is a busy time, with families getting together, going out to dinner after a long day of shopping, and spending time with friends at the local pub, restaurant, or bar. Police officers are busier, too, stopping drivers they believe may be intoxicated. In fact, it appears they are putting some extra manpower into catching more DUI drivers this holiday season.

Thanksgiving Marked Beginning of Efforts

For officers, the arrests begin Thanksgiving Day and continue on through the New Year; this year was no exception. According to a press release from the State Police, they made nine DUI arrests, as well as another 393 for speeding on the very first day of the effort. They also issued 56 tickets for seatbelt violations and another 894 tickets for moving violations that included unsafe lane changes, following too closely, using cell phone while driving, texting, and failure to signal.

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Connecticut drunk driving attorney, Connecticut defense attoney, Connecticut criminal lawyer,Drunk driving in Connecticut is not worth the cost, or the risk. Sadly, the percentage of Connecticut drivers who admit to driving after drinking too much is still higher than the national average. Even more concerning is that an alarming number of parents get behind the wheel, drunk, with their children in the car. Whether they are aware of it or not, this could lead to additional charges, regardless of there not being an official law covering driving under the influence with minor passengers.

Even at First Offense, DUI Laws Are Costly

Connecticut has cracked down on drunk driving over the years; now, even on a first DUI offense, your license can be suspended and you may spend anywhere from six months to a year with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle. Each additional offense increases the level of consequences, and if you are charged enough, you could face serious criminal charges.

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Connecticut drunk driving laws, Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyWhen most people fail a breathalyzer test, they admit defeat. Many ask, “What is the point of fighting DUI charges?” However, the truth is that these devices can produce false positives if they are not calibrated correctly. In fact, research has shown that breathalyzers have a 40 percent margin of error, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

There have been several cases of false positives. Last year in Connecticut, a DUI case was thrown out of court after DNA tests revealed that the defendant had a BAC of 0.0.

In addition to questioning the breathalyzer results, there are other potential defenses that could work in your favor. For example, your attorney could question whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over in the first place.

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