Have You Been Charged with Your First DUI in Connecticut?
There is never any excuse for driving while under the influence of alcohol or another substance. However, there is a difference between a person who makes a mistake and a person who constantly acts recklessly, without regard for anyone else. Getting your first DUI in Connecticut can be terrifying, especially if it is an isolated incident rather than the next step in a pattern of behavior. An experienced DUI attorney can help guide you through what can be an intimidating process.
Connecticut Statistics Are Steady
Statistics show that the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Connecticut has risen in recent years, with 38 percent of traffic deaths being alcohol-related in 2016, rising to 43 percent in 2017, even though the overall fatality rate actually dropped. Nationwide, approximately 29 percent of all road deaths were alcohol-related, which is a historic low (at least since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been recording such statistics), so Connecticut’s rate is slightly higher. Connecticut does have a high death rate in such accidents, however, especially among those aged 21-34.
Regardless of age, Connecticut recognizes driving under the influence as a crime and takes even first offenses very seriously. Law enforcement officers can arrest and charge with DUI even if a driver refuses a blood alcohol test, though to refuse the test is highly discouraged (if you refuse a blood alcohol test in the field, your license may be suspended for up to 1 year, even for a first offense). You may wind up in jail for a night or longer, but either way, most first-time offenders find negotiating the process alone almost impossible.
What You Should Know
If you are arrested and charged with DUI, you should know that your drivers’ license will almost certainly be suspended, though the length of time may vary depending on the nature of the accident. Once you are notified of the suspension, you will usually have a few days or weeks to arrange alternative transportation, and it is during those weeks that an appeal usually has to be started - once the suspension starts, the window to appeal or contest the evidence has passed officially.
Be advised that while it is rare, the law does allow for even first-time offenders to be jailed if the accident was severe enough or enough damage was caused. However, many are able to enter the Alcohol Education Program (AEP), which is a pretrial diversion program designed to educate first offenders on the serious nature of their charges. If your application into the program is granted, you can avoid a trial and a conviction which can cause serious problems for you in the future.
Can a Fairfield County DUI Attorney Help You?
Driving under the influence is a serious matter that you should absolutely not take lightly, even if it is your first offense. You need an experienced and dedicated Stamford DUI attorney to help you navigate through what can be a complex and intimidating process. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner has the experience and the knowledge to give you your fair day in court. Contact our offices today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.