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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  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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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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CT DUI lawyerIt is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Connecticut when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. (If you are an underage driver, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when your BAC is 0.02 percent or higher).

Under Connecticut’s implied consent law, it is presumed that all drivers have consented to taking a chemical test to determine BAC.

There are three different methods police use to determine a driver’s BAC: breath, blood or urine. Breath tests (using a breathalyzer) are the most common method, but it is up to the arresting police officer to make that call.

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CT defense lawyerOn New Year’s Day, there is a contingent of individuals both in Connecticut and the nation at large who are dealing with a DUI charge instead of mulling over new year’s resolutions at brunch. It is a most unpleasant way to begin 2018, yet is a reality that must be addressed promptly and professionally. This is the case for any DUI charge, and especially for a second, third, or subsequent charge. Multiple DUI convictions are punished strictly in Connecticut, with thousands of dollars and fines and several years of prison time being all too real possibilities. If are beginning the new year with the headache of a New Year’s Eve DUI charge, rely on an experienced Fairfield County DUI attorney to protect your legal rights.

Connecticut Utilizes a Ten-Year Window with Regard to Repeat DUI Convictions

The measure for what constitutes a “repeat” DUI conviction in the state of Connecticut, is the ten years following your first DUI conviction. In other words, the ten-year clock begins running from the time of your first conviction. During this ten-year period, if you are convicted o DUI for a second, third, or subsequent time, you will face more serious consequences than if the new conviction occurred more than ten years after your first conviction. Specifically, for a second DUI conviction within ten years of the first, a fine between $1,000 and $4,000 will be imposed, as well as a jail sentence between 120 days and two years, a minimum of 100 hours of community service, and a three-year suspension of your driver’s license. In addition, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device at your own expense for a two-year period after your license is reinstated. Penalties for a third DUI conviction are still more severe, and include a fine between $2,000 and $8,000, a jail sentence between one and three years, 100 hours of community service, and the permanent revocation of your driver’s license.

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Connecticut defense attorneyWine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages are present at many holiday gatherings. While some beverages are consumed moderately and merrily, others are consumed for a different reason: stress. Visiting with family and friends can be difficult, especially in the current fraught national political climate, with old grievances and grudges lurking at the corners of contentious conversations.

In the moment, whether in bidding a fond farewell or a good riddance goodbye after consuming multiple alcoholic beverages, one may make the mistake of getting behind the wheel to drive a vehicle. When this mistake turns into a Connecticut DUI or DWI arrest, the holiday is officially over. And when this mistake is, in fact, a second, third, or subsequent DUI or DWI arrest in Connecticut, interpersonal squabbles will quickly seem minuscule in comparison to the state-imposed penalties upon a criminal conviction.

If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI in Connecticut, you need an experienced Fairfield County DUI and DWI defense attorney – especially if you have already been convicted for drunk driving in the past ten years.

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Connecticut defense attorneyThe wind blows especially cold for some as October draws to a close and November marks the year’s turn toward winter. Halloween: an occasion for innocent costume donning and candy-crazed merrymaking for the young. For pre-teens and teenagers, however, All Hallows Eve can get out of hand, drastically so, with partying or misbehavior resulting in criminal charges ranging from alcohol and drug-related offenses to property damage or theft to violence to even sex crimes. For a juvenile facing one or more criminal charges in the state of Connecticut, a strong legal defense raised by an experienced Norwalk criminal defense attorney is a must.

Juvenile Criminal Charges Can Have Long-Term Consequences

Dangerous misconceptions about the juvenile justice system abound, tempting parents and children alike to underestimate the long-term impact of a juvenile conviction. Even a minor child can be sent away upon conviction for a year or more. In addition, even if a juvenile conviction is expunged from a child’s criminal record upon reaching the age of 18 or 21, the conviction can still have devastating effects upon the child’s ability to reach his or her full educational or vocational potentially.

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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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Posted on in Driving Under the Influence

Norwalk DUI attorney, Connecticut DUI law, license suspension, DUI offense, DUI chargesThose who are convicted of driving under the influence in Connecticut face serious penalties, including jail time, hefty fines, and the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license.

Convictions can also go on a person’s criminal record, which can have far-reaching consequences, and make it difficult to secure employment or find housing.

To ensure that you receive the best possible defense, you should speak with an experienced Norwalk DUI attorney who may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.

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