Has Your Connecticut Driver’s License Been Suspended?
There are several types of infractions for which your driver’s license may be suspended. This may seem like a blow it would be impossible to recover from, given that the majority of people drive to work, to their obligations, their appointments, and so on. However, it is very possible to get your license reinstated, or in some rare cases, not to lose it in the first place, depending on the type of offense you are convicted of or held liable for.
Unusual Procedure for DUIs
Connecticut has a somewhat unusual procedure for handling alleged driving while intoxicated (DUI) offenses - the criminal case in court, and the administrative license suspension hearing, which is headed by an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is because there are currently more than 20 offenses in Connecticut law which may be punishable by license suspension, and it is more efficient to simply conduct all proceedings of this type through an ALJ. It is possible, if unlikely, to prevail in your court case and still lose your driver’s license, and it is possible, if unlikely, to be convicted of DUI while retaining your license, depending on how each proceeding goes.
Connecticut law provides for a license suspension in connection with the DUI itself, but a refusal to consent to sobriety testing can also be grounds for a suspension. DUI mandates a suspension of at least 1 year for a first-time DUI, going up until a permanent revocation of a driver’s license upon the third offense. Refusal to take sobriety tests will yield different punishments for those under and over 21; for those under adult age, the penalties are between one and five years’ license suspension depending on blood alcohol level, while those over 21 will see suspensions between six months and two years, six months, again dependent on blood alcohol level and number of offenses.
Getting Your License Back Can Be Hard
It is important to understand the difference between an administrative court and its rulings and a sentence passed down in criminal court. If your license is suspended due to a refusal to take a sobriety test, that is considered an administrative per se suspension, and you can request a hearing within seven days of the suspension if you wish to contest it. Any sentence you receive in criminal court, including a required license suspension if the court deems it appropriate, cannot be contested except on a full appeal, which can be costly and time-consuming. It can be confusing, but both courts can require you meet certain criteria before your license is reinstated, often both at the same time.
In all but the rarest cases, you will also have to participate in the Ignition Interlock program before your suspension can be lifted, and this does apply even if you have a hardship case. Ignition Interlock is mandatory for anyone convicted of DUI or receiving an administrative license suspension, and a failure to do this or any attempt to drive on a suspended license can result in a longer suspension or, in some cases, total revocation.
Let Our Stamford License Suspension Attorneys Help You
DUIs are mistakes that can be deadly and catastrophic, but also have harsh penalties for everyone so that more people think twice about engaging in that behavior. License suspension can seem like the end of the world, but it is far more important to understand the process and get through it than to try and flout the rules or ignore your punishment. Dedicated Stamford license suspension lawyer Daniel P. Weiner has been practicing for years and is ready to help you get through what can be a confusing system. Call our office today at 203-348-5846 to seek help with your license suspension.