This crime is commonly known as DUI, DWI, OWI, OUI, or simply drunk driving. In Connecticut, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-227a. Even if you believe you “felt fine” and were unfairly stopped, you can be charged with this crime and possibly convicted.
To convict a person of this offense, the State need only prove that you operated a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or that you did so with an elevated blood alcohol content.
The “legal limit” in Connecticut is 0.08% or above alcohol by volume. For commercial vehicles, the limit is even lower at 0.04%. The State is not required to produce chemical evidence of your blood in order to charge you with this crime and secure a conviction. Moreover, since there is no legal limit for illegal drugs, the State need only prove that you were under the influence of drugs at the time you operated a motor vehicle
Punishments for DUI/Drunk Driving
In Connecticut, DUI carries serious consequences. The penalties for DUI include fines, driver’s license suspension, and possibly jail time. For a first conviction, a person faces up to six months in jail. For a second conviction within ten years of the first, a person may be imprisoned for up to two years, of which 120 days may not be suspended, which essentially means spending at least 120 days in prison. For a third conviction within ten years of the second, a person may be imprisoned for up to three years, of which one year may not be suspended. In addition, the state may permanently revoke your driving license.
A new law, which took effect in October 2016, provides for mandatory minimum jail time for individuals who are convicted for drunk with minor children in the vehicle.