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CT DUI lawyerDriving while under the influence in Connecticut is a very serious crime, with the potential to cause fatalities and injuries not only to the people involved, but also to pedestrians. If you are charged with one, the consequences will be serious, but a second DUI ups the proverbial stakes, and there will be far fewer chances to try and seek a lesser sentence. An attorney is absolutely crucial at this stage in order to protect your rights.

First vs Second Offense

Driving while under the influence is a crime in Connecticut, with a first offense being a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail plus a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 45 days and your car will be fitted with an ignition interlock device for up to one year. This is all in addition to probation, which has expensive fees that can add up. Depending on your specific situation, you may be able to seek entry into a pretrial diversion program, which can result in your charges being dismissed if you comply with all the required terms.

Even if you do complete a pretrial diversion program and have your first offense effectively erased, a second DUI charge is considered more serious. A second DUI is always a felony charge, carrying a prison term of anywhere between four months and two years, along with a fine of up to $4,000, ignition interlock for three years, license suspension, and probation. With a second DUI, probation will also usually include more requirements, such as community service and alcohol education.

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CT DUI attorneyThere 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.

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CT DUI lawyerDriving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is seen as one of the most reckless and dangerous crimes one can commit without having the malicious intent to harm anyone. The penalties, even for a first-time offender, can be quite serious. However, if you are caught driving under the influence again in Connecticut, the penalties are even more serious and no leniency will be granted to you as a repeat offender. If you have been charged with a second or third DUI, you need an attorney well versed in these types of cases to stand up for your rights.

A Second DUI Is a Felony

In Connecticut, the 10-year period after you are convicted of DUI is the key to keeping your criminal record clear. A first DUI is often charged as a misdemeanor if no one has been injured or killed, and as such, the person may be eligible for pretrial diversion programs and other rehabilitative options instead of having to serve a prison sentence. If you are convicted of a second DUI within 10 years of the first, you will automatically be charged as a felony, regardless of whether the DUI caused injury, death, property damage, or no damage at all.

A second DUI in 10 years being charged as a felony means that no pretrial diversion is available; if you are sentenced to prison at trial, you must serve that prison sentence. Connecticut law allows a sentence of between 45 and 730 days (two years) for any DUI beyond the first offense, as well as fines of up to $4,000 and a driver’s license suspension for up to three years, depending on the specific nature of your actions.

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CT defense lawyerNo driver wants to see those blue flashing lights pop up in their rearview mirror. Traffic stops are always stressful. Being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving is especially nerve-racking. At this time, you need to know how to protect your rights during the traffic stop and beyond. Notably, if you were arrested for a DUI in Stamford, CT, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Your driving privileges, your freedom, and your reputation could all be on the line. You are entitled to strong legal representation.

Do Not Try to Talk Your Way Out of a DUI

At a traffic stop, you should always remain polite and you should cooperate with the reasonable requests of the responding law enforcement officers. That being said, defendants have a legal right to remain silent. You are not required to answer any invasive questions. If you are suspected of a DUI, you should use this right. One of the biggest mistakes you can make at a drunk driving stop is trying to talk your way out of an arrest. You are far more likely to talk your way into an arrest or to inadvertently provide statements that will be used in a future prosecution.

Know the Rules on Field Sobriety Testing

As explained by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the state has an implied consent law on the books. Drivers in Connecticut have pre-consented to chemical alcohol tests — such as blood tests and breath tests. The failure to submit to one types of chemical tests could result in a DUI refusal charge. However, drivers have not consented to perform other, less reliable field sobriety types of tests. You are not legally required to do the walk-and-turn, one-leg-stand, or to recite the alphabet backwards.

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CT DUI attorneyDrunk driving is a serious problem in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. According to a 2017 study conducted by 24/7 Wall St., more than one in five adults drinks excessively in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area. Such drinking habits likely contribute to the fact that more than one-third of the area’s roadway fatalities involve alcohol, which is higher than both the state and national average.

It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Connecticut with an elevated blood alcohol content. The limit is 0.08%, except for commercial truck drivers, whose limit is 0.04%. A DUI conviction carries the following types of penalties:

  1. Jail time. First offenders may spend up to six months in jail. Offenders convicted for a second time within a 10-year period face jail time up to two years. A third or subsequent offense means up to three years in prison.

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Connecticut DUI attorneyIn the month of December, with holiday celebrations either already underway or imminently approaching, there is the risk of a Connecticut DUI charge. One such occasion in which this risk is encountered is the holiday office party. When alcoholic beverages are served as employees let off steam, vent about stress, and celebrate the close of the corporate year, consumption can lead to a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) elevated beyond the legal limit for drivers in the state.

If you commute to work via subway, bus, train, carpool, or by foot, this scenario will not result in a DUI charge. However, if you drive to work and are unable to utilize public transportation, Uber, or Lyft after consuming holiday office party alcoholic beverages, you run the risk of being stopped and arrested for DUI if your BAC is over the legal limit. If holiday office partying has resulted in a Connecticut DUI charge, you need a Fairfield County DUI defense attorney.

Conviction for DUI in Connecticut Can Affect Your Ability to Commute to Work

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Connecticut DUI lawyerLast week was Halloween. The holiday is in resurgence with the popularity of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, and, because it falls on a Tuesday, kids and adults alike spent the weekend before celebrating with parties and events.

With Halloween fun, as we all know too well from childhood and teenage years, comes mischief. Toilet paper rolls will be strewn across treetops, already shriveling pumpkins smashed in the streets, and, at some gatherings, a veritable witches’ brew of alcohol consumed. While toilet paper confetti and pumpkin punishment can get you in trouble, it is the alcohol-related offenses that can truly turn a fun night into a nightmare in the blink of a bleary eye. If your Halloween ended in a DUI or DWI, you will need an experienced Fairfield County DUI/DWI attorney.

Jail, Fines and Penalties, License Suspension, and IID Installation Are Among the DUI Penalties in Connecticut

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Texas DUI lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is considered a serious crime in Connecticut and even a first time offense can result in jail time, a hefty fine, and a 45 day license suspension. Fortunately, there are programs available to first time offenders that can help them avoid these types of harsh penalties, so if you were arrested for driving under the influence, you should consider speaking with an experienced Fairfield DUI attorney who can explain your legal options.

The Alcohol Education Program

In Connecticut, some first time DUI offenders qualify for admittance into the Alcohol Education Program (AEP). The AEP is a state diversionary program that requires participants to:

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut DUI attorneyDriving a vehicle while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol is a serious offense that can lead to various criminal charges under Connecticut law. In addition, if a driver causes an accident, and another person dies as a result of the accident, the driver could face even more serious charges. A DUI that ends with the death of another can lead to the driver being charged with vehicular manslaughter or lesser charges such as misconduct with a motor vehicle, negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, and reckless driving. Generally, when someone dies in a DUI accident, the driver will face prison time.

Vehicular Manslaughter in Connecticut

In Connecticut, a driver is guilty of vehicular manslaughter, which is considered second degree manslaughter, if while driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both, the driver causes the death of another person due to the effect of the alcohol or drugs. Most cases of vehicular manslaughter are considered involuntary. This means that the manslaughter was unintentional. This may seem counter-intuitive because the driver’s drinking may have been intentional, but unintentional in this context is a legal term. It basically means that the driver was driving in a reckless or unintentional manner, for example by speeding or running a red light, leading to the accident.

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Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense lawyerIf you have recently gotten your first DUI in Connecticut, you likely have many questions and you need to act quickly in order to get the optimal results in your case. Depending on the facts of your case, it is usually helpful to retain a DUI attorney as soon as possible.

There are two different “cases” within a DUI charge. One is administrative where your driver’s license is at stake. The other is criminal, which will affect your criminal record. For most first offense DUIs, the charges are considered to be misdemeanors.

The Administrative Case

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Connecticut DUI lawyer, Conncecticut drunk driving attorneyConnecticut is notorious for being one of the harshest states with their punishments of DUI. On holidays, the police do not take a break and lend a blind eye to questionable behavior. In many cases, it seems like circumstances point to the contrary. If they are in a bad mood for having to work while you are celebrating, there is an increased likelihood that they will spot potential driving errors. This year proved exceptionally difficult, leaving many excitedly anticipating a new start and a chance for a better year. If you are part of the population going out for New Year’s celebrations, take precautions to ensure you make it home safely instead of sitting behind bars.

Statistics

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, adults drive intoxicated an average of 80 times before their first DUI arrest. Additionally, the likelihood of being involved in a drunk driving accident increases on weekends after dark. During particular occasions throughout the year, such as holidays and summer, arrests skyrocket. In Connecticut, DUI is among one of the most common arrests made. Other statistics include:

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