OUI/DWI/DUI FAQ

Questions About DWI/DUI in Connecticut

shutterstock_18277498Answers from knowledgeable attorneys in Hartford County

Being charged with an OUI/DUI is a stressful and confusing experience. Most drivers charged with OUI do not know what to expect or how to protect their rights and minimize the potential consequences an OUI offense can have on their life, including their finances, job, family, and reputation. At the Law Offices of Marc N. Needelman, we understand that our clients are often overwhelmed with questions about the law and the criminal process. You should not have to face DUI charges alone. To learn more about DWIs and get personalized answers to your questions, please call Marc Needelman, a former state prosecutor, today to schedule a free initial consultation.

What happens if I am charged with OUI/DUI in Connecticut?

If you are pulled over for drunk driving, you may be given an alcohol or drug test after you are given a reasonable chance to contact your attorney. If you fail or refuse the test, the officer will revoke your driver’s license for 24 hours and report the arrest to the DMV. Any evidence obtained may be used against you in court. Once you are arrested, it is essential to seek immediate representation from a seasoned criminal defense law firm that can protect your rights and fight aggressively for a fair result. Depending on the facts of your case and whether you have prior convictions, our firm may be able to help you avoid prosecution through the Pre-trial Alcohol Education Program, plead guilty to an offense with a reduced sentence or aggressively litigate the charges against you in superior court. During this time, you may also need to schedule a DMV hearing regarding the possible suspension of your driver’s license.

What if I am under age 21 and charged with DUI/DWI in Connecticut?

The operation of a vehicle by any person under 21 years old with a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or above is illegal in Connecticut. If you are under 21 and charged with DUI, it is important to seek the help of a drunk driving lawyer who can minimize the harmful consequences of your arrest.

How can I work with a suspended license?

Under Connecticut’s new laws, first and second DUI offenders are sentenced to license suspension for at least 45 days before they can install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles and begin driving again. However, drivers with a suspended license may request approval to obtain a Special Operator’s Permit to drive to and from work or school only.

What is the Alcohol Education Program?

The Pre-trial Alcohol Education Program allows drivers charged with certain DUI/DWI offenses, such as a first offense, to avoid prosecution by completing an alcohol or drug education or treatment course. Once you successfully complete the program, your court file is sealed and the charges against you are dismissed. Alcohol programs may include 10- or 15-week education programs, as well as treatment programs.

What counts toward a repeat DUI offender status?

In many cases, a first DUI offense may be dismissed because of successful completion of a Pre-trial Alcohol Education Program. This means that your first offense may not count toward your repeat offender status because you were not convicted or did not plead guilty. In these cases, the second offense counts as the first, and it is not until a third offense that you are considered a repeat offender. In addition to DUI convictions, convictions for second-degree vehicular manslaughter or assault are also considered DUI convictions when determining repeat offender status and sentencing.

How long will my license be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if I am charged with OUI/DWI?

Administrative penalties from the DMV include:

  • License suspension for at least 90 days
  • License suspension for at least six months of you refused to take a blood, breath or urine chemical analysis test

What are the court penalties for DUI/DWI (in addition to the DMV penalties) according to the CT DMV?

  • First offense: One-year license suspension; six-month jail sentence, with 48-hours mandatory minimum time in jail, or a suspended sentence with 100 hours of community service; fine from $500 to $1,000.
  • Second offense: One-year license suspension, followed by two years with ignition interlock device (for in-state violations featuring drivers who are at least 21); two-year jail sentence, with mandatory 120 days in jail; 100 hours of community service; fine from $1,000 to $4,000.
  • Third offense: Revocation of license; a three-year sentence with one-year mandatory time in jail; 100 hours of community service; fine from $2,000 to $8,000.

In addition to the official penalties listed above, you may incur the following:

  • Towing costs
  • Bail bond
  • Attorney costs
  • Missed work time
  • Cost of mandatory alcohol education program
  • Cost of court-mandated treatment