Connecticut DUI/DWI Laws
Quick Overview of Penalties for DUI/DWI
- BAC Percentage for Increased (Aggravated) Penalty – .16
- License Suspension for 1st Offense – Yes
- Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension – Yes
- Ignition Interlock – Mandatory for all convictions
- Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions – None
General State Information
- State Penal Code – GSC section 14-227a
- Open Container Laws – None
- Repeat Offender Laws – Yes
- Check Points – Yes
- Alcohol Exclusion Laws Limiting Treatment – None
Understanding DUI/DWI Penalties
There are four main factors that determine the severity of the penalties incurred:
- The age of the driver
- The substance impairing you. This may be drugs, or alcohol, or both
- The category of your driver’s license (Restricted, CDL)
- Whether you refused a chemical test
Chemical Test Refusal
– Every state has some version of the “Implied Consent” law
– This law carries serious consequences for refusing a chemical test
– The penalties for refusing a chemical test in Connecticut are:
- 6 month license suspension
- 1 year license suspension
- 3 year license suspension
In Connecticut the lookback period is 10 years
Any arrest for DUI/DWI within 10 years of your first offense results in higher penalties
Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02% or more will be charged with DUI/DWI
A BAC of .08% and above will result in the same penalties as drivers 21 and over
Penalties for Underage Drivers (under 21)
- As of July 1st, 2015, all drivers that register as intoxicated in the state of Connecticut are subject to the same set of DUI/DWI penalties.
- The sections below will suffice in covering the entirety of Connecticut DUI/DWI penalties.
DUI/DWI Penalties/Alcohol/Drug related (Non-Aggravated)
- 1 year suspension of driver’s license
- fines ranging anywhere from $500 – $1000
- Prison (2 day minimum, 6 month maximum)
- 1 year license suspension
- fines ranging anywhere from $1000 – $4000
- Prison (120 days minimum, 2 year maximum)
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
DUI/DWI Penalties/Alcohol/Drug related (Aggravated)
- For Aggravated DUI/DWI, Connecticut adds a “per se” penalty
- This is an administrative penalty imposed by the DMV which is apart from, and in addition to whatever criminal penalties you are subject to
- This penalty comes in the form of drivers license suspension
- A single offense carries a 120 day penalty, and a subsequent offense carries a 10 month penalty
Pretrial Alcohol Education Program
- In some cases, you may apply to the court for admission into a Pretrial Alcohol Education Program.
- If approved, you will pay $100 admission fee, as well as another $100 evaluation fee.
- Upon successful completion of this program, you may appeal to the court for a dismissal of charges, which may be granted in certain instances.
CDL Drivers (Commercial)
- Those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are held to a stricter standard.
- Accordingly, their BAC threshold is significantly lower (0.04%), and the penalties incurred are often much more severe.
- An initial DUI conviction in a commercial or passenger vehicle will result in a one year CDL revocation.
- A second DUI conviction in a commercial or passenger vehicle will result in a permanently revoked CDL.
SR-22 Insurance Requirement
- SR-22 Insurance is a requirement in many states as a condition of restoring your driving privileges
- Most, but not all states have SR-22 statutes
- In Connecticut an SR-22 must be filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before your driving privileges can be restored
- You must maintain your SR-22 for a period of 3 years following the restoration of your driving privileges
- Should you lapse at any point, your insurance company will inform the DMV and your license will be revoked
- Wet Reckless is a general term that refers to a plea bargain that may reduce the severity of the charge against you
- Connecticut does allow for plea bargains in DUI/DWI cases
- It can only be pleaded down to reckless driving
- This allows you to avoid a criminal record
- Any subsequent DUI/DWI arrests within the look-back period will reverse the original plea bargain
- The reckless driving will revert back to a full DUI/DWI conviction and lead to enhanced penalties in this case
- This plea bargain is typically only allowed for first time offenders with no aggravating factors involved