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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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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 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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