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Penalties for Underage DUI in Connecticut

 Posted on May 31,2024 in Driving Under the Influence

 Stamford Underage DUI LawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Connecticut, and the consequences are even more severe for those under the legal drinking age of 21. If you or someone you know is facing underage DUI charges, it is beneficial to understand the potential penalties and the impact they can have on a young person’s life. A Connecticut lawyer can help make sure you take the proper steps for your situation.

Connecticut’s Zero Tolerance Policy

In Connecticut, drivers under 21 are subject to a strict zero tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol consumption. This means that if a driver under 21 is found to have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system (a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of 0.02 percent or higher), they can be charged with DUI, even if their driving ability does not appear to be impaired.

Administrative Penalties

When an underage driver is arrested for DUI, they face both administrative and criminal penalties. The administrative penalties are imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and include:

  • License suspension: A one year license suspension for a first offense, and a three year suspension for subsequent offenses.

  • Ignition interlock device (IID): After the license suspension period, the driver must install an IID in their vehicle for one year (two years for subsequent offenses), which prevents the car from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.

Criminal Penalties

Underage DUI offenders also face criminal charges. The specific penalties depend on the circumstances of the case and whether the driver has prior offenses. Generally, the criminal penalties for underage DUI in Connecticut include:

  • Fines: A fine of $500 to $1,000 for a first offense and $1,000 to $4,000 for subsequent offenses.

  • Jail time: While unlikely for a first offense, a judge can impose up to six months in jail. Subsequent offenses carry a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail.

  • Probation: Probation for up to three years, during which the offender must comply with certain conditions, such as attending alcohol education classes or substance abuse treatment.

Long-Term Consequences

Beyond the immediate penalties, an underage DUI conviction can have long-lasting consequences. A criminal record can affect a young person’s ability to get into college, secure employment, or even find housing. The financial burden of fines, court fees, and increased insurance rates can also be substantial.

Contact a Stamford, CT DUI Lawyer

An underage DUI charge can be a wake-up call for a young person struggling with alcohol abuse. If you or someone you know needs help after facing a DUI charge, do not hesitate to reach out for legal representation. A Fairfield County, CT DUI attorney can help you with your case. Call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.

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