What You Should Know about Your First DUI in Connecticut
If you have recently gotten your first DUI in Connecticut, you likely have many questions and you need to act quickly in order to get the optimal results in your case. Depending on the facts of your case, it is usually helpful to retain a DUI attorney as soon as possible.
There are two different “cases” within a DUI charge. One is administrative where your driver’s license is at stake. The other is criminal, which will affect your criminal record. For most first offense DUIs, the charges are considered to be misdemeanors.
The Administrative Case
If you fail or refuse a chemical alcohol test, your license will be suspended for 45 days. Connecticut requires that an ignition interlock device (IID) be installed prior to license restoration in all cases. The IID will be required for the following periods of time, based on the circumstances of each case:
- If the driver is under 21 years old with a BAC of at least .02, the IID will be installed for one year for first offense.
- If the driver is 21 with a BAC of at least .08, the IID will be installed for six months for first offense.
- If the driver refuses to submit to a breath, urine or blood test, the IID will be installed for one year for the first offense.
As you can see, the longest suspension delay comes from a refusal to submit to a test. A person is penalized for not submitting because in Connecticut all drivers are considered to have given “implied consent” to a chemical analysis of blood, breath or urine.
It is important to review all documentation you have been given by police, whether it was given to you at the time of your arrest or mailed to your home later. If you do not understand the documents, seek legal counsel immediately.
Typically, a driver’s license suspension will begin on the 31st day following your arrest. You will get a notice of suspension sent to your address of record. The notice will allow you seven days to ask for a hearing to challenge the suspension before it goes into effect. If you wish to challenge the suspension, you should speak to a DUI lawyer immediately.
A lawyer may be able to successfully challenge your suspension or may be able to get the court to allow you to drive to work or school.
The Criminal Case
This proceeding is separate and apart from the administrative case. Criminal convictions for first-time DUI offenders can result in:
- Jail time of up to six months. Either 48 hours in jail or a suspended sentence with 100 community service hours must be served;
- Fines ranging between $500 and $1,000; and
- Driver’s license suspension for one year.
Many times first time DUI offenders can avoid a conviction by enrolling in a diversion program. The Alcohol Education Program (AEP) requires those enrolled to attend classes and pay the class fees. If you complete the program, your criminal DUI case will be dismissed one year after the judge granted your request to enroll in the program.
Contact a Fairfield County DUI Attorney
We help many people accused of DUI get the best possible outcome for their case. Contact the Fairfield County, CT DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to learn more about what a skilled criminal defense attorney can do for you.