Charged with Your Second DUI in Fairfield County?
Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is always a serious matter, with no exceptions. One is bad enough, but if you have been stopped a second time, it can have serious implications for your long-term future. Hiring a Connecticut attorney well versed in DUI law is critical, as trying to go through the process alone can be a difficult and frightening experience.
Connecticut Is Strict on DUIs
It is generally the public policy of the state of Connecticut to charge DUI crimes because of the potential danger they pose to the community. A first-time DUI in Connecticut still carries fairly strict penalties, especially if you refuse a chemical test or Breathalyzer (under Connecticut law, anyone who drives on the state’s roads has given their implied consent to administering such a test, and refusal to take it is met with punishment). While the jail time for a first DUI is minimal, the fine can be substantial, and if you refuse the breath test, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months, but for as much as one year if there are aggravating factors.
In Connecticut, a DUI is only counted as a second offense if it occurs within 10 years of the first, but if this happens to you, the fines will be higher, more jail time will be required, and the date and requirements for your license to be reinstated are much stricter. While there may be some occasions in which someone is granted a conditional permit if they need to drive to work or school, judges otherwise do not generally relax these requirements, just because drunk driving is so potentially dangerous.
Getting Your License Back Can Be Difficult
While DUIs do not carry much jail time - even a second offense comes with only 120 days in jail, though a third requires at least one year - they are severely punished in other ways. Perhaps most seriously, it is quite an exacting process to get your license back after its suspension. It must, by law, be suspended for one year, after which at least 24 months with an ignition interlock device installed on your car will generally be assigned by the judge. In order to even be considered for its reinstatement, you must also complete a state-sanctioned DUI and substance abuse treatment program.
It is important to realize, however, that a refusal to submit to a breath test along with a second DUI can carry an additional one-year license suspension. While a refusal is not considered a crime (it is an administrative infraction), it can carry penalties that are arguably just as stiff as the DUI itself. The statistics on fatalities stemming from drunk driving incidents are simply too much; rather than simply imprisoning those who drive drunk and not trying to educate them on the potential consequences of their actions, Connecticut’s law tries to be both punitive and rehabilitative.
Contact a Fairfield County DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with DUI in Fairfield County, contacting an attorney is an important step, as, without one, the process of going through the courts can be very confusing and scary. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner have handled many cases of this nature, and our dedicated Stamford DUI lawyers can work with you to ensure the fairest outcome possible. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation by calling 203-348-5846.