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CT defense lawyerIn most U.S. states, it is illegal for someone to consume alcohol and then operate a motor vehicle, and it is also illegal for anyone in the vehicle to have an open container of alcohol. Connecticut is one of the few states where the laws on open containers differ, and this can lead to confusion for drivers, especially those from out of state. Failure to understand Connecticut law can lead to being arrested for driving under the influence, and this is obviously an outcome that most people want to avoid.

No Real Open Container Law

As of this writing, 40 U.S. states have laws prohibiting open containers of alcohol in vehicles. Connecticut, however, is not one of them - in most situations, passengers who are over the legal drinking age of 21 are permitted to have alcohol in a vehicle and even drink from the open container. Connecticut law prohibits consumption of alcohol “while operating a motor vehicle” - but if one is not operating the vehicle, the law is lax. Some local ordinances do ban open containers entirely, but state law does not.

There may be consequences for drivers who are under 21 whose passengers drink alcohol in the car, but these would stem from their age, rather than any consumption. A police officer can charge an underage driver with a violation if there is alcohol in their car if they believe the driver knew or had reason to know of its presence, which can lead to a license suspension. However, this can be difficult to prove, depending on the specific facts of the case.

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CT defense lawyerBeing charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is always a serious matter, with no exceptions. One is bad enough, but if you have been stopped a second time, it can have serious implications for your long-term future. Hiring a Connecticut attorney well versed in DUI law is critical, as trying to go through the process alone can be a difficult and frightening experience.

Connecticut Is Strict on DUIs

It is generally the public policy of the state of Connecticut to charge DUI crimes because of the potential danger they pose to the community. A first-time DUI in Connecticut still carries fairly strict penalties, especially if you refuse a chemical test or Breathalyzer (under Connecticut law, anyone who drives on the state’s roads has given their implied consent to administering such a test, and refusal to take it is met with punishment). While the jail time for a first DUI is minimal, the fine can be substantial, and if you refuse the breath test, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months, but for as much as one year if there are aggravating factors.

In Connecticut, a DUI is only counted as a second offense if it occurs within 10 years of the first, but if this happens to you, the fines will be higher, more jail time will be required, and the date and requirements for your license to be reinstated are much stricter. While there may be some occasions in which someone is granted a conditional permit if they need to drive to work or school, judges otherwise do not generally relax these requirements, just because drunk driving is so potentially dangerous.

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CT DUI lawyerDriving while under the influence of any substance is no laughing matter, and if you are caught, you can face serious repercussions. However, it is not necessary that your life be ruined, especially if it is your first offense. A Fairfield DUI attorney may be able to help work out a fair outcome in your case.

Connecticut DUI Facts

In Connecticut, you are considered to be driving under the influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.08, though the number is even lower for commercial drivers (0.04), and those under age 21 (0.02). If you are shown to be driving under the influence, you will almost certainly be arrested, booked and read your rights, and will usually be released upon your own recognizance (that is, released upon a promise that you will appear in court later) unless you have caused injury or property damage while driving under the influence. If you cause injury or property damage while driving under the influence, the charges you will face may be greater.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut DUI lawyerFor many families utilizing the school system whether it be at a college or a preschool level, each year is more prominently separated by the academic year and vacation times. While school is in session, there is a schedule to which to adhere, which demands most of the daylight hours during the shorter days. During the summer the days are much longer, and routine has a tendency of being pushed by the wayside. It is also interesting to note that crime levels rise during the months in which students are out of school. One crime that is no exception is driving under the influence (DUI).

The Spike Is Not a Myth

If you obtain your information from individuals on the street, you hear different answers for any topic asked. The same holds true for the spike in crime. According to the annual National Crime Victimization Survey, Criminal charges spike as much as 12 percent during the warmer summer months. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most unsafe month in which to drive on the road is August when it comes to traffic-related fatalities. Consider these statistics:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Refusing-a-Breathalyzer.jpgA social drink with friends or family can become a legal headache when the police are involved. Once the lights start flashing in your rearview mirror, that buzz may dissipate, but the alcohol remains in the system. Throughout the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, no matter how erratic you were driving, as the officer approaches the vehicle, substantial evidence of DUI is unavailable. However, if there is reasonable belief of driving while intoxicated, a breathalyzer is requested. You do have the right to refuse. However, refusal does come at a price.

Implied Consent Law

It is true that you are innocent until proven guilty of any crime, yet you must also watch out that you are not breaking a different law in the process of maintaining your innocence. While refusal of a breathalyzer or other chemical test may prevent the procurement of quantifiable evidence, the refusal may be construed as proof of knowledge of breaking the law. In the state of Connecticut, as well as many other states, drivers accept their driving privileges with the understanding of implied consent. The implied consent law says that after an arrest under probable cause of DUI, as a part of your driving privileges, you agree to blood, breath, or urine testing.

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