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CT  defense lawyerThere 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.

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Connecticut defense lawyerIn the month of March, law enforcement are on the lookout for drivers running afoul of the state’s alcohol-related driving laws on the way home from watching events like the Academy Awards and the NCAA basketball tournament. With the Oscars running time at four hours, and March Madness running from before noon until midnight in its opening week, there is an increased risk for individuals consuming alcoholic beverages to exceed the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level for driving. For this reason, it is very important to understand what BAC is, how it works, how easily the legal limit can be exceeded, and the penalties for driving with an impressible BAC. Driving in the state of Connecticut is a privilege – one that can be taken away on a temporary or permanent basis following a DWI conviction. Knowing the law and your legal rights when it comes to driving and alcohol is a must.

The Law Makes Presumptions About Impairment Irrespective Of Subjectivity

The charge of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Connecticut may be leveled irrespective of whether you feel that you were personally experiencing any alcohol-induced impairment while driving. You do not need to be feeling drunk to be in danger of being charged with DWI if you get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. This is because the relevant metric under state law is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). BAC reflects the percentage of alcohol in the blood and is typically measured by breathalyzer – a law enforcement administered device to breathe into and thereby provided a BAC reading.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut DUI attorneyBeing convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol is life-altering under any circumstances. The offense can have a substantial impact on your driving privileges and can also negatively affect sentencing for future non-related crimes. As if these penalties were not prerogative enough to dispute any allegation of DUI, if you are a CDL license holder, your career may be put jeopardy.

Different Laws to Follow

The career of a commercial driver license (CDL) holder revolves around the ability to safely operate a vehicle. In most situations, the trucks they are responsible for maneuvering are many times larger than the average car on the road. If they were to collide, significant, potentially catastrophic injuries and even death are possible. For these reasons, the standards set for CDL drivers to uphold are higher. Regulations pertaining to operating a commercial vehicle are as follows:

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Fairfield County criminal defense attorneyWith or without any direct evidence of a person's BAC (blood alcohol concentration), Connecticut police have the right to prosecute when a driver is found to be impaired by drugs or alcohol while operating a vehicle. The state of Connecticut considers this a criminal offense and takes the prosecution of such offenses very seriously, beginning with the automatic suspension of one’s driver’s license. 

The moment you are arrested for OUI, you are escorted to the police station and your vehicle must be towed at your expense. There are two ways you can lose your license following an OUI arrest in the state of Connecticut: by failing or refusing a chemical alcohol test or through court conviction.

What Happens to My Driving Privileges Under Connecticut Law?

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vehicular manslaughter, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyDetermining the most common causes of death in the world is a challenge, one that varies wildly depending on the reporting agency, year, and country. Yet vehicular manslaughter is one that consistently makes the lists year after year, even as other major health crises are addressed and subverted.

Vehicular manslaughter is defined as the unintentional murder of someone while behind the wheel of a car, usually caused by reckless driving or gross negligence. Driving over the speed limit may be considered gross negligence, and thus the vehicular manslaughter charge could be treated as a misdemeanor. Conversely, if the person behind the wheel was drunk at the time of accident in which someone was killed, the charge will likely be a felony because the circumstance in which the person was driving was illegal from the beginning.

In Connecticut, a vehicular manslaughter conviction automatically carries a one-year license suspension and a two-year period in which the person must use an ignition interlock device in his or her car. A large percentage of vehicular manslaughter cases are the result of drunk driving. In Connecticut, this is considered second degree manslaughter, and carries the punishment of a Class C felony, punishable by one to ten years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Between 2001 and 2010, there were 191 second degree manslaughter convictions of this nature in the state.

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holiday, DUI, Connecticut DUI defense attorneyThe holiday season is a busy time, with families getting together, going out to dinner after a long day of shopping, and spending time with friends at the local pub, restaurant, or bar. Police officers are busier, too, stopping drivers they believe may be intoxicated. In fact, it appears they are putting some extra manpower into catching more DUI drivers this holiday season.

Thanksgiving Marked Beginning of Efforts

For officers, the arrests begin Thanksgiving Day and continue on through the New Year; this year was no exception. According to a press release from the State Police, they made nine DUI arrests, as well as another 393 for speeding on the very first day of the effort. They also issued 56 tickets for seatbelt violations and another 894 tickets for moving violations that included unsafe lane changes, following too closely, using cell phone while driving, texting, and failure to signal.

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Connecticut drunk driving attorney, Connecticut defense attoney, Connecticut criminal lawyer,Drunk driving in Connecticut is not worth the cost, or the risk. Sadly, the percentage of Connecticut drivers who admit to driving after drinking too much is still higher than the national average. Even more concerning is that an alarming number of parents get behind the wheel, drunk, with their children in the car. Whether they are aware of it or not, this could lead to additional charges, regardless of there not being an official law covering driving under the influence with minor passengers.

Even at First Offense, DUI Laws Are Costly

Connecticut has cracked down on drunk driving over the years; now, even on a first DUI offense, your license can be suspended and you may spend anywhere from six months to a year with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle. Each additional offense increases the level of consequences, and if you are charged enough, you could face serious criminal charges.

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Connecticut drunk driving laws, Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyWhen most people fail a breathalyzer test, they admit defeat. Many ask, “What is the point of fighting DUI charges?” However, the truth is that these devices can produce false positives if they are not calibrated correctly. In fact, research has shown that breathalyzers have a 40 percent margin of error, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

There have been several cases of false positives. Last year in Connecticut, a DUI case was thrown out of court after DNA tests revealed that the defendant had a BAC of 0.0.

In addition to questioning the breathalyzer results, there are other potential defenses that could work in your favor. For example, your attorney could question whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over in the first place.

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DUI, myths, Stamford Criminal Defense AttorneyAs is common with many other areas of the law, alcohol-related driving offenses are susceptible to a number of popular myths. Many of these fabrications not only are false, but they also can land you in a lot of trouble if you believe them. All drivers should be aware of the laws of the road, and DUI laws are some of the most important. In order to protect yourself under the law, you should be aware of some of the most popular misconceptions regarding driving under the influence.

1. There Are Ways to Fool a Breathalyzer

Breathalyzers display an accurate measurement of a driver's blood-alcohol level by analyzing his or her breath. Since police began using these machines, urban myths about fooling them have continued to flourish. These have included everything from brushing your teeth to placing a battery or penny in your mouth. Some people have even suggested that being a smoker decreases the breathalyzer's ability to take a reading. According to Bactrack.com, these are all entirely untrue.

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ignition interlock, DUI, Connecticut DUI defense lawyerBeginning on July 1, 2015, a stricter ignition interlock requirement will be implemented for drivers convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Under the new law, the Department of Motor Vehicles is authorized to require ignition interlock devices to be installed in the vehicles of first-time DUI offenders.

An ignition interlock device is a small device that measures blood alcohol which is wired into the ignition of a vehicle. The driver must blow into the device before the vehicle may be started, and the vehicle will not start if the driver has a measurable blood alcohol level. Ignition interlock devices are shown to decrease the number of repeat DUI offenses by as much as 67 percent.

The new law impacts penalties imposed for a DUI conviction or for administrative violations of Connecticut’s drunk driving laws. In addition to requiring interlock ignition devices for DUI first offenders, the new law also:

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Stamford DUI attorneyAmericans are all too familiar with the strong anti-drunk driving advertisements that display on TV commercials and highway billboards. Catchy quotes, such as “buzzed driving is drunk driving,” are well known, but DUI rates remain high across the country. In many cases, buzzed drivers are not necessarily operating their vehicles recklessly, but they simply do not know that a just a small amount of alcohol can cause a person to reach the legal limit of a 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC).

According to the Mother's Against Drunk Driving, drunk driving is one of the most frequently committed crimes in America. While getting behind the wheel after a drink or two may be an innocent gesture, the stakes are simply too high to take a chance. Drunk driving not only can lead to the revocation of a driver’s license, but it can also result in significant financial penalties.

By measuring the alcohol concentration in a person's blood, law enforcement can determine if a person is driving while intoxicated. Various biological factors come into play when measuring blood alcohol level, so there is no way to estimate BAC accurately without carefully calibrated devices.

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driving under the influenceSome cars can park themselves, brake automatically, and keep the car from drifting across lanes on the highway. In addition to all the advances in automotive technology that have taken place over the last several years, it may be just a matter of time until a device in your car can tell if the driver is too drunk to safely operate the car.

In an effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working with suppliers on the development of the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). The system would automatically determine the driver’s blood alcohol content by either touch or breath. Ideally, the system would be passive, gathering the needed data without requiring the driver to blow into a breathalyzer. It is even possible that the system could then prevent the driver from operating the car if the driver’s blood alcohol level is above the legal limit.

If such a device or system can be implemented, it is possible that the NHTSA could require the technology to be implemented in all vehicles. However, the first step towards this technology would be to build a research vehicle while ironing out some of the challenges involved, including where to place the touch sensors and how to distinguish between the driver’s breath and that of passengers. The system would have to be very accurate, unobtrusive, and convenient to be suitable for widespread use.

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