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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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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 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, Connecticut defense attorneyIf you are accused of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Connecticut and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.08, you may have many questions. You may question your future, the punishments, and the impacts. Although Connecticut legislature has harsh penalties for those convicted of first-time DUI, there is a second chance option that may be available given the right circumstances. The program is not a right, and therefore no one is guaranteed admittance, however the chances of being accepted increase with the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to help you through the application process.

Pretrial Diversion Program

If it is your first time with a DUI, or you have not had one in more than 10 years, you may be eligible to apply for this program before your case goes to trial. Consider AEP, a Connecticut “second chance” for those who made a mistake. The Alcohol Education Program meets weekly for one-hour classes for up to 15 weeks. The length of time is dependent on the results of an alcohol evaluation test done before the program begins. There are no exams or testing, nor are there any alcohol or drug tests. Simply arrive on time, every week, and stay for the entire class. After successful completion of the program and attending the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel, your case may be dismissed and erased from your record.

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