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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 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 defense lawyerIf you have been charged with a second, third, or subsequent DUI or DWI in Connecticut, you face very harsh penalties with regard to your personal freedom, finances, reputation, and driving privileges. Alcohol, as you are likely aware if you have previously been convicted of DUI or DWI, is a common source of problems in both the state and nation at large. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), over 25% of people ages 18 and over reported that they engaged in binge drinking the past month.

Over 15 million adults in the U.S. alone have alcohol use disorder, and every year an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes. The economic cost of alcohol misuse is staggering – running at 249 billion annually in the U.S. When it comes to alcohol misuse and Connecticut’s roads and highways, the state has little tolerance for those who drink and drive – especially after already having a DUI or DWI conviction.

Penalties for a Repeat DUI Conviction in Connecticut

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Connecticut defense lawyerIn Connecticut, as in every other state, alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to a DUI charge. Driving while under the influence of drugs, whether illicit or a lawful prescription, may also result in a Connecticut DUI or DWI charge. Importantly, the penalties for a prescription drug-related DUI conviction are no different than those for a traditional, alcohol-based DUI. This is because the duty of safe driving is at issue. All drivers owe this duty to one another, and when one driver endangers another while under the influence, the nature of influencing substance is a secondary concern. Certainly, if the substance is illicit, a DUI charge may be coupled with separate drug charges. As for the DUI component, however, the penalties are the same.

Always Read the Label on Your Prescriptions

Even over-the-counter medicines such as cold remedies and antihistamines may cause one to become drowsy or disoriented and, as such, refrain from getting behind the wheel of a car, truck, or other vehicle. Behind-the-counter medications and treatments, only obtainable with the prescription of a physician, may be magnitudes stronger. This is especially the case with pain medication, some of which are derived from opiates – a very powerful class of drug. Because of this, it is critical that you follow the exact orders of the prescribing physician in taking the prescription, including taking time to read the label and understand any side-effects that you may experience. The duty is on you and an officer arresting you for DUI will not sympathetic to surprise prescription side-effect-related explanations.

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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 DU lawyerMany universities recently celebrated homecoming. Homecoming is a time of year when current university students celebrate the joys of campus life in autumn, that fairest of seasons, and when alumni return to their alma mater to relive glory days, reconnect with friends and former classmates, don school colors, and root for the home team. Tailgating for fall Saturday football games is already a rowdy affair, with revelers often grilling food and enjoying alcoholic beverages before noon. When combined with homecoming celebrations, tailgating can become downright raucous, with alumni consuming alcohol at increased rates.

It’s one thing if you’re a current student and can walk back from the stadium to your dorm or apartment. When you’re no longer a resident of the college town in which you’re celebrating Homecoming, post-tailgating travel involving a vehicle can be problematic. It’s no surprise that a DUI or DWI charge can result during or after Homecoming festivities. If your homecoming return has been soured with a DUI or DWI charge, an experienced Stamford DUI defense attorney will work to protect your legal rights.

Legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in Connecticut

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