A DUI is committed in the state of Connecticut if a driver’s blood alcohol content, or BAC, is .08 percent or greater. This limit drops to .04 percent for commercial drivers and .02 percent if the driver is under the age of 21. A first offense DUI is considered a misdemeanor in Connecticut and all subsequent offenses committed within 10 years are considered felonies.
Connecticut law stipulates that any driver convicted of a DUI, even on a first offense, must have their license suspended for no less than 45 days if they are over the age of 21. They must also install and maintain an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for a specified period of time. This period varies with the number of DUI charges accrued. The driver’s vehicle must also be impounded for at least 48 hours.
Penalties for a First DUI Offense
The mandatory minimum prison sentence for a first DUI is two days and can be extended to up to six months. Any sentence over two days can be suspended in favor of probation for the same period with an additional 100 hours of community service. The fine for a first offense may be as little as $500 and as much as $1,000. The period of mandatory use of an ignition interlock is one year after serving the minimum 45-day license suspension.
Penalties for a Second DUI Offense
This is the level at which a DUI in Connecticut becomes a felony charge. The prison sentence for a second DUI carries a mandatory minimum of 120 days and may be as long as two years. Part of this sentence can be suspended in favor of probation with an additional 100 hours of community service. The fine is, at minimum, $1,000 and may be as much as $4,000. If the person who is convicted is under the age of 21, that person’s driver’s license will be suspended for either three years or until the person turns 21. The longer suspension period will be enforced. After the end of that suspension, the person will be barred from operating a vehicle unless it is equipped with a fully-functioning ignition interlock device for a period of two years. If the person who is convicted is above the age of 21, the person’s license will be suspended for one year. After the end of the suspension, the person will not be allowed to operate a vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device for two years.
Penalties for a Third and Subsequent DUI Offense
The prison sentence for a third or subsequent conviction within a period of 10 years carries a mandatory minimum of one year and can be as long as three years. Incarceration after one year can be suspended in favor of probation with at least 100 hours of community service. The minimum fine is $2,000, and the maximum fine is $8,000. The person’s driver’s license is automatically revoked as well.
Penalties for Refusal of Testing
Connecticut statutes suggest that an individual who is operating a motor vehicle consents to chemical testing for intoxicants that cause impairment. A person’s first refusal of a test results in an automatic license-suspension period of six months. A person who refuses a second time will be subjected to a one-year license suspension, and a third offense will result in an immediate three-year suspension.