Driving Under the Influence - Page 9
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Stamford DUI defense attorneyOne of the most prevalent questions drivers arrested for the suspicion of operating under the influence tend to have is whether or not they are permitted to refuse the breathalyzer test upon arrest. The answer to this question is generally straightforward. According to the law in the state of Connecticut, you are within your rights to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test if you are pulled over for the suspicion of drinking and driving. However, there are consequences you need to be aware of should you decide to refuse the test.

1. Your Driver’s License Is Automatically Suspended

One of the first consequences you will face when you are found to be operating under the influence is the suspension of your license. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the authority to suspend your driving privileges if you fail or refuse a breathalyzer test or other form of chemical testing. As a first time offender, you will lose your license for six months for failing a test if you are over the age of 21, or for 12 months if you are between the ages of 18 and 20. Younger first time offenders who are 16 or 17 years of age will lose their license for 18 months.

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Fairfield County criminal defense attorneyWith or without any direct evidence of a person's BAC (blood alcohol concentration), Connecticut police have the right to prosecute when a driver is found to be impaired by drugs or alcohol while operating a vehicle. The state of Connecticut considers this a criminal offense and takes the prosecution of such offenses very seriously, beginning with the automatic suspension of one’s driver’s license. 

The moment you are arrested for OUI, you are escorted to the police station and your vehicle must be towed at your expense. There are two ways you can lose your license following an OUI arrest in the state of Connecticut: by failing or refusing a chemical alcohol test or through court conviction.

What Happens to My Driving Privileges Under Connecticut Law?

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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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