Connecticut OUI/DUI Laws and Penalties

What is considered “operating under the influence” (OUI) in Connecticut and the consequences of a conviction.

In Connecticut, a motorist can get an OUI (sometimes called a “DUI”) for operating a motor vehicle while “under the influence”—impaired to an “appreciable degree”—of alcohol or drugs or with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Any driver with an elevated BAC is presumed to be under the influence and can be convicted of an OUI without proof of actual impairment. An elevated BAC is at least .04% for drivers of commercial vehicles, .02% for drivers under 21 years old, .08% for all other drivers.

Jail Time and Fines for Connecticut OUI Convictions

The mandatory penalties for an OUI are established by law and dependent on the number of OUI convictions the driver has. However, the judge has discretion in determining the fines and jail within these limits.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense (felony)

Jail

48 hours (or 100 hours community service) up to 6 months

120 days to 2 years

1 to 3 years

Fines

$500 to $1,000

$1,000 to $4,000

$2,000 to $8,000

License suspension

45 days

45 days

Permanent

Ignition interlock device (IID)

1 year

3 years

N/A

Substance abuse assessments. As part of an OUI sentence, the judge can require the convicted person to get a drug and alcohol evaluation. Based on the results, the judge can also order treatment or rehabilitative services.

Community service and victim impact panels. For a second or subsequent OUI, the judge will order 100 hours of community service and can require the offender to attend a victim impact panel to learn the dangers of impaired driving.

Minor passengers. An OUI offender who had a minor passenger at the time of the offense will be subject to increased jail time:

  • minimum 30 days jail for a first offense
  • minimum 180 days jail for second offense, and
  • minimum two years jail for the third offense.

Vehicle impoundment. After an OUI arrest, the offender’s vehicle will be impounded for 48 hours.

Implied Consent and Refusing a Blood or Breath Test in Connecticut

Pursuant to Connecticut statute, any person driving within Connecticut is considered to have given consent to a chemical test of their breath or blood to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs. This is termed “implied consent,” and a motorist who refuses to submit to lawfully requested tests will have his or her driver’s license revoked for 45 days. The fact that the driver refused testing may also be used at trial to prove an OUI charge.

A driver who submits to a chemical test, but has a BAC over the legal limit will be subject to a 45-day license suspension, regardless of whether convicted of an OUI in criminal court. Test failure or refusal also requires the driver to install an IID for the following periods.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense (felony)

.08% or more BAC

6 months

1 year

3 years

Under 21 with BAC of .02% or more

1 year

2 years

3 years

Refusal

1 year

2 years

3 years

Talk to an Attorney

Unless dismissed for a lack of evidence, an OUI charge cannot be pled down, reduced, or dismissed through plea negotiations. For these reasons, it is best to consult with a seasoned OUI attorney to help determine your options.

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