Penalties and Costs of OUI in Connecticut

As we have previously overviewed the basic OUI/DUI law in Connecticut in our blog post, “An Introduction to OUI Law in Connecticut”, this article will dive a little deeper into the penalties and costs of first time and second time OUI convictions. If you have not read our previous introduction into OUI law in CT, it provides an overview of the law and procedure of OUI and may help you better understand some of the information mentioned in this discussion.

What is OUI/DUI in Connecticut?

OUI/DUI is measured based on a person’s “blood alcohol content” or BAC level. Drivers under the age of 21 are considered to be operating under the influence if their BAC level exceeds 0.02. For drivers over the age of 21 who have a commercial driver’s license (“CDL”), OUI is measured at a BAC level in excess of 0.04. For all other drivers over the age of 21, the limit is 0.08.

First Time Conviction Penalties and Costs

If you have never been arrested for OUI or have not used a diversionary program for OUI in the previous ten years, you may qualify for the Alcohol Education Program (“AEP”). If you have used AEP within 10 years or do not otherwise qualify for the program, you may face a first-time conviction.

The penalty for a first OUI conviction includes; a fine of $500-$1000, 45 days suspension of driver’s license, incarceration for up to 6 months (48 hours are mandatory), required installation of an ignition interlock device (“IID”) for one year, participation in alcohol or drug evaluation and/or counseling if ordered, and probation usually between 12-24 months.

A first OUI conviction is designed to hit your wallet heavily. The cost to reinstate your license after the 45 day suspension period will be $175. Additionally, the costs incurred for the IID start at $100 for processing, a one-time installation fee of $50-$150, monthly fees for maintenance, leasing, and IID monitoring which can range from $50-$150, and the removal fee of $50-$150. In addition to these, there are court fees, counseling fees (if ordered), and potential fines as mentioned above. 

Second Conviction Penalties and Costs

If a person is convicted of a second violation of OUI, the fines increase to $1000-$4000, 45 day suspension of driver’s license, installation of an IID for 3 years, incarceration of up to 2 years (120 days mandatory), probation requiring 100 hours of community service and completion of an assessment to the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch to evaluate the degree of drug or alcohol abuse. 

In addition to increased fines, all payments that were incurred in the first conviction apply as well: IID fees, court costs, and fee to reinstate license.

Contact Apex Law Firm to Learn More About OUI Laws and Convictions

The laws and penalties in place for OUI related convictions are very serious and it is a crime not taken lightly in the State of Connecticut. Costs and punishments for those who are convicted will increase heavily for continuous offenses, resulting in prison time, extensive probation orders, and can eventually result in the loss of driving privilege completely. If you would like more information or have been charged with OUI, contact Apex Law Firm today.

An Introduction to OUI Law in Connecticut

Operating under the influence, or “OUI” (also referred to as DUI), is a serious offense in the State of Connecticut. Connecticut has its own policies when it comes to defining, enforcing, and punishing OUI violators. In this post, we’d like to introduce our readers to the basics of OUI law in Connecticut. Connecticut OUI law is fairly complex, and so mastering it in its entirety would require a good amount of effort. Our goal here is just to provide a very basic overview of how Connecticut OUI law operates. In the future, we may come back and dive into this subject more deeply.

Introduction to the Basic Concept of OUI in Connecticut

As with many other states, OUI is defined in Connecticut according to a person’s “blood alcohol content,” or BAC. The BAC level which can lead to an OUI depends on the person’s age and type of driver’s license. For instance, for drivers under the age of 21, an OUI begins at a BAC level of 0.02. For a person over the age of 21, this figure jumps to 0.08, but if a person over the age of 21 holds a commercial driver’s license (“CDL”), then a BAC level of 0.04 is the limit.

Consequences for First, Second and Third Offenses

The possible punishment for OUI offenses in Connecticut varies depending on the number of prior offenses of a person. If a person has no prior offenses, then the possible punishment for a first offender is the following: 48 hours to 6 months of jail time, $500 to $1,000 in fines, 45 day license suspension, 100 hours of community service, and 1 year of ignition interlock device (IID). For a second offense, the possible punishment is 120 days to 2 years in jail, $1,000 to $4,000 in fines, 45 day license suspension, 100 hours of community service, substance abuse assessment, and 3 years of IID. For a third offense, offenders can face 1 to 3 years in jail, $2,000 to $8,000 in fines, and permanent license suspension. An IID is technically unnecessary for a third offense, because the license is always permanently suspended and so the offender’s driving privilege is eliminated altogether. A third offense is also classified as a felony in Connecticut law, and so offenders will have that on their record.

This is merely a framework within which Connecticut judges may operate when they assess punishment for offenders. Judges have wide leeway when they impose fines and sentences, and so the outcome of every case is really dependent on its particular facts and circumstances. In addition to these penalties mentioned above, judges can also impose community service and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Implied Consent and Consequences for Test Failure or Refusal

When a person drives in the State of Connecticut, he or she is considered to have given “implied consent” to submit to a BAC test when an officer has reasonable cause to make this request. A driver in Connecticut cannot refuse a BAC test without facing consequences. Refusal of a lawfully requested test will result in an automatic license suspension of 45 days. If a driver submits to a test but fails, then this will automatically result in the 45 day license suspension; this is true regardless of whether that person is ultimately convicted of an OUI. What’s more, test failure or refusal will also lead to the installation of an IID for a certain period of time depending on the offender’s history.

Contact Apex Law Firm for Additional Information

Again, this is merely an overview of OUI law in the State of Connecticut. Make no mistake, the charge of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime. If you’re convicted of an OUI, you can eventually lose your driving privilege entirely. If you’d like to learn more, or if you have questions or have been charged with OUI, contact Apex Law Firm today.

What Makes a DUI Aggravated in Connecticut?

Over one million people are apprehended each year in the US for driving under the influence (DUI). It is quite acceptable to have a few drinks, but operating a vehicle with high blood alcohol content (BAC) risks not only your life and well-being but also that of others on the road. 

Estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that one-third of first time DUI offenders repeat the same crime in the future. It is not surprising to see this statistic as alcohol often reduces inhibitions and impairs judgment. However, a more serious felony DUI charge awaits those who repeat the same misdemeanor. 

Difference between a Misdemeanor and a Felony

The seriousness of the crime is used to rate offenses. In general, a DUI would be classified as a misdemeanor. But, in many states, there is a limit on the number of times a person is convicted for a DUI before the charge converts to a felony.

In comparison to felonies, misdemeanors are considered less grave. Felony offenders typically receive stricter punishments. Misdemeanor charges usually have imprisonment of up to a year while a felony offense may warrant jail time of more than one year.

DUI Charges in Connecticut: Misdemeanor or Felony?

Offenses such as DUI are criminal in nature. A first time DUI conviction is seen as an unclassified misdemeanor. In case of a second DUI offense and subsequent repetitions, it is considered as unclassified felonies or aggravated DUI.

According to Connecticut law, DUI turns into a felony when a person faces a second DUI charge within ten years of a previous conviction for the same offense. People who get a second DUI conviction are considered to be convicted felons.

In Connecticut, felony DUI (aggravated DUI) penalties include the following:

  • Up to two years of imprisonment with mandatory jail time of 120 days
  • A fine ranging from $1,000 to $4,000
  • Probation with up to 100 hours of community service
  • License suspension for 45 days
  • Installation of Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for three years

A DUI is a felony if a drunk motorist is responsible for causing severe physical harm (assault with a motor vehicle) or death (manslaughter with a motor vehicle) of another individual, even if the intoxicated driver does not have any prior DUI convictions. 

A charge of aggravated drunk driving can result from specific aggravating circumstances surrounding the accident that led to the indictment. A first DUI charge is usually considered a misdemeanor under the DUI laws of many states. However, aggravated drunk driving is a felony charge, and this necessarily warrants more stringent punishments for motorists convicted of an aggravated DUI.

Aggravated Drunk Driving Charges: Consideration of Circumstances and Factors

  • A significantly high blood alcohol level (BAC)
  • Operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or above with a minor child in the automobile
  • Operating a vehicle while simultaneously using drugs and alcohol
  • Operating a school bus while drunk
  • Driving within a school zone while intoxicated
  • Causing serious injury or fatality

If a person is pulled over for drunk driving, they may face aggravated drunk driving charges if they:

  • Are caught behind the wheel without a valid driver’s license
  • Cause another individual to sustain serious injuries or die, or extensive damage to property due to the accident
  • Have numerous prior DUI convictions, especially within a specific timeframe

In comparison to a regular DUI charge, often considered a misdemeanor, an aggravated drunk driving conviction can lead to significantly more serious penalties. Most drivers accused of aggravated drunk driving face felony charges. This tarnishes an individual’s clean reputation and places a permanent mark on their criminal record, potentially disqualifying them for certain jobs, among other detriments.

  • Imprisonment
  • Long probation terms
  • Community service
  • Revocation or suspension of driving license
  • Compulsory ignition interlock device installation
  • Heavy fines
  • Confiscation of vehicle

Are aggravated DUI conviction penalties harsher than those for a regular DUI conviction?

In general, yes. The penalties associated with an aggravated DUI conviction often include more substantial fines, more extended periods of driver’s license suspension, a higher possibility of substance abuse assessment and/or treatment, and mandatory minimum incarceration.

If my offense involved a minor, will I be charged with aggravated DUI?

A person might be charged with an aggravated DUI if they had a minor child in the vehicle with them at the time of their offense, if their actions led to serious bodily harm to a minor child, if they were driving while drunk in a school zone, or if they were operating a school bus while under the influence of alcohol.

Schedule a Consultation with a Skilled DUI Lawyer in CT

If you face a DUI charge in Connecticut, you must act fast to preserve your driving privileges and other freedoms. In Connecticut, the law allows a mere seven days for an attorney representing a client charged with a DUI to request the Connecticut DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for a hearing to help prevent their license from being revoked.

During this time as the COVID-19 crisis is upon us, there is limited access to the Connecticut courts. However, APEX Law Firm, LLC is still here to provide the experienced representation our clients need and deserve. Much of our work is being done remotely in accordance with social distancing guidelines, but our firm remains open and ready to serve your legal needs.

Message us online or contact our office today at (860) 900-0900 for free consultation with one of our experienced DUI attorneys.

What are the Penalties for DUI in Connecticut?

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is against the law in Connecticut along with all other states. If you are charged for DUI, you will be facing some very harsh consequences if you are convicted. Drunk driving is far more than a traffic citation, it is a criminal charge, which could either be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. If you are convicted, you may be facing heavy fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, and other penalties.

What Constitutes DUI in Connecticut?

Before we talk about the specific penalties for a drunk driving conviction, it is important to understand what makes you legally drunk in the state of Connecticut.  This can happen in one of two ways:

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol to the degree that your ability to drive is appreciably affected. This could be determined by a law enforcement officer based on your driving (e.g., weaving in and out of lanes, running red lights, etc.), failing a field sobriety test (FST), slurred speech, and other behaviors.
  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds the maximum allowable under the law. This is referred to as “per se DUI”.  For drivers of non-commercial vehicles who are over the age of 21, the legal BAC limit is 0.08. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the legal limit is 0.04, and for drivers under the age of 21, the legal limit is 0.02.

The penalties for a DUI conviction depend largely on how many offenses you have within the past 10 years:

First Offense

A first-time DUI is punishable with fines of up to $1000, between 48 hours and six months in jail, a 45-day driver’s license suspension, and installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle for one year. In many cases, the jail time can be suspended in exchange for 100 hours of community service.

Second Offense

A second-time DUI is punishable with fines of up to $4000, between 120 days and two years in prison, a 45-day driver’s license suspension, and installation of an IID in your vehicle for three years. Mandatory community service and a mandatory drug and alcohol assessment are also required for individuals who are convicted of a second or subsequent DUI.

Third Offense

A third DUI conviction within 10 years is punishable with fines of up to $8000, one to three years in prison, a permanent driver’s license suspension, mandatory community service, and a mandatory drug and alcohol assessment as well as treatment if it is ordered by the court.

DUI with Aggravated Circumstances

If there are aggravated circumstances, DUI offenders may face enhanced penalties above and beyond what is listed. Here are some possible examples of DUI with aggravated circumstances:

  • A DUI accident resulting in death or serious bodily injury;
  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or higher;
  • Child endangerment;
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license;
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident;
  • Fleeing a police officer.

Implied Consent in Connecticut

Connecticut has what is known as “implied consent”. This means that by applying for a driver’s license in the state, you are giving your consent to be chemically tested if law enforcement reasonably suspects that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse the mandatory chemical (breath, blood, or urine) test, you can have your driver’s license automatically suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Potential DUI Defenses

It is important to understand that being arrested for DUI does not necessarily mean you will automatically be convicted. There are possible defenses that could be successful, depending on your case, to have the charges dismissed or, at the very least, obtain a reduction to a lesser charge.

Some potential defenses for DUI include:

  • The officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over for drunk driving and/or they did not have probable cause to arrest you;
  • Your BAC was under 0.08 at the time you were pulled over, but it had risen to above the legal limit by the time you were tested (this is known as the “rising blood alcohol” defense);
  • The field sobriety tests (FSTs) were unreliable or inaccurate;
  • Unreliable or inaccurate chemical test results;
  • You were not driving the vehicle;
  • You only drove the vehicle because of an emergency or legal necessity.

Arrested for DUI in Connecticut? Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Being convicted for drunk driving can incur very harsh consequences. In addition to criminal penalties, you may also find it more difficult to obtain employment, housing, financing, admission to college, and the right to carry a firearm.  With so much at stake, you need strong legal counsel in your corner fighting hard to protect your rights and interests.

At the Apex Law Firm, we have extensive experience successfully defending clients who have been charged for DUI and other types of criminal offenses in Connecticut. We are a veteran-owned firm that truly understands the meaning of the word “service”, and we are ready to serve you.

Call our office today at (860) 900-0900 or message us through our online contact form to schedule a discreet and confidential consultation. You may also stop by our Hartford County office in person at your convenience.

What Happens in CT if I Get a 2nd or 3rd DUI?

Connecticut has some of the harshest of DUI laws in the nation. In fact, according to a 2015 study, the Constitution State is the third strictest with regards to drunk driving offenses, behind only Alaska and Arizona. Penalties for a DUI conviction in CT can include heavy fines, jail time, loss of your driving privileges, probation, and other consequences.

A first-time conviction in Connecticut is a misdemeanor. A first-time DUI conviction (also commonly referred to as OUI or operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs) also carries fines of up to $1000, a 45-day driver’s license suspension followed by one year with an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, and up to six months in jail, 48 hours of which may not be suspended or reduced, and 100 hours of community service.

Second and Subsequent DUI Offenses in Connecticut

A second-time DUI/OUI conviction within ten years after a prior conviction for the same offense is a felony, with fines of up to $4,000, a 45-day driver’s license suspension followed by three years with an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, and up to two years in prison with a mandatory minimum of 120 days in prison, 100 hours of community service and treatment if ordered by the Court.

For a third or subsequent DUI/OUI conviction, things get far worse. Fines can be as high as $8000, your driver’s license can be permanently revoked, and up to three years in prison, one year of which may not be suspended or revoked. The Court may suspend two years of the three-year sentence, with the possibility of reinstatement if the defendant violates probation. As for the permanent driver’s license revocation, the driver can petition the Connecticut DMV to have his/her driver’s license reinstated after two years. There is no guarantee this petition will be granted, however, and the driver must prove that they are no longer a danger to the public safety or welfare.

Aggravated Circumstances and Enhanced DUI Penalties

The penalties for first, second, third and subsequent DUI/OUI convictions can be enhanced if there are aggravated circumstances that accompany the arrest. Examples may include:

  • A DUI accident involving serious bodily injury or death;
  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than double the legal limit;
  • Child endangerment;
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident;
  • Fleeing a police officer;
  • Refusal to submit to the required chemical (breath, blood, or urine) test after the DUI arrest.

Beyond the criminal and administrative penalties, a second, third, or subsequent DUI conviction can incur other negative consequences for your life and future. For example, having a criminal conviction on your record can make it more difficult to obtain housing, employment, and college scholarships. If you are a commercial driver, a DUI conviction can jeopardize your livelihood, even if you are arrested for drunk driving while you were off duty. And if your job requires a professional license, you may lose your license once your licensing board becomes aware of your conviction.

A felony conviction in Connecticut is very difficult to get removed. The only way is to apply for an expungement pardon with the CT Board of Pardons and Parole. You must wait five years from the date of your felony conviction to apply.

Speak with a Skilled Connecticut DUI Defense Lawyer

Being arrested for a second, third, or subsequent DUI in CT is serious business. Prosecutors are not nearly as forgiving the second or third time around, and you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner who thoroughly understands the inner workings of the Connecticut criminal justice system and the most effective DUI defense strategies for your situation. At The APEX Law Firm, LLC, we have several years of experience successfully defending clients charged for DUI in Connecticut. We work tirelessly on your behalf, exploring every potential legal avenue toward the goal of mitigating the circumstances as much as possible.

Call our office today at (860) 900-0900 to schedule a confidential and discreet consultation. You may also send us a message through our online contact form or stop by our Hartford County office in person at your convenience.

What to Do if you are Stopped for DUI in Connecticut

If you have been stopped for DUI in Connecticut, you could be facing heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. The outcome of the stop, whether or not you will be arrested for DUI, and whether you will ultimately be convicted depends largely and how you conduct yourself when you are pulled over, and in the days immediately following the stop.

Here are some tips for what to do if you were stopped for DUI in CT:

You do not Have to Answer the Officer’s Questions

One of the most important things to understand when you are stopped for DUI is that you are only required to provide the officer with three basic pieces of information; your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. You are under no obligation to answer any additional questions that the officer asks you. Keep in mind that when you are pulled over by the police for drunk driving, they are not neutral, and they are not your friends. They already suspect that you have been drinking and driving, and they are looking to establish probable cause to arrest you for DUI.

One common question an officer may ask is “have you been drinking tonight?”, “How much have you been drinking tonight?”, or something to that effect. You might be tempted to give what you believe is an innocuous response such as “just a couple of beers”. This could be a major mistake. You do not want to admit to any wrongdoing after you are pulled over. Be courteous, and politely decline to answer the officer’s questions. Just let them know that you need to talk to your lawyer before providing them any further information.

You do not Have to Submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening 

Another way an officer may try to establish probable cause to arrest you is by asking you to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS). A preliminary alcohol screening is a breathalyzer test conducted on the spot to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). There is a lot of confusion about whether or not you are required to take this type of test. Unlike the chemical test that you are given at the police station after your arrest, (more on that later), you are not required to take a preliminary alcohol screening. And generally, there is no good reason for you to take it unless you are absolutely certain that your BAC is below .08. Even then, the officer might still find a reason to arrest you.

You do not Have to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test (FST)

Field sobriety tests are a series of physical tests that a police officer may give you to help determine if you are intoxicated. For example, you may be asked to walk a straight line, follow a moving object with your eyes, or stand on one leg. Like the preliminary alcohol screening, it is generally not in your best interests to submit to a field sobriety test. Remember, the officer already suspects that you are intoxicated, and they are trying to collect more evidence to establish probable cause for an arrest. Therefore, it is very reasonable to assume that this test will not be administered objectively.

You are Required to Submit to a Chemical Test after a DUI Arrest

While you have the right to refuse a preliminary alcohol screening or field sobriety test, you cannot refuse the chemical (breath, blood, or urine) test that is given after the officer arrests you for DUI without consequence. Under Connecticut’s “implied consent” law, you give your consent to take this test when you apply for a driver’s license in the state. Refusal to take the mandatory chemical test may result in an automatic 45-day suspension of your driver’s license followed by having an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle for one year, just for your first offense. Subsequent offenses result in longer suspension periods and longer periods of time with an IID in your vehicle.

Being Arrested for DUI does not Necessarily Mean You will be Convicted

If you are ultimately arrested for DUI in Connecticut, you might be under the impression that there is nothing you can do to avoid a conviction. However, there are various defense strategies that can be employed to have the charges reduced or dismissed, depending on the circumstances of your case.

For example, if the police did not have probable cause to pull you over for drunk driving (such as witnessing a traffic violation, swerving on the road, problem with the vehicles safety equipment, or other signs of intoxication), then the stop would be unlawful, and any evidence gathered against you would be inadmissible.

Other possible defenses for a DUI charge may include:

  • Lack of probable cause for a DUI arrest;
  • Inaccurate or unreliable field sobriety tests;
  • Inaccurate or unreliable chemical test results;
  • The defendant was not driving the vehicle;
  • The defendant was driving the vehicle out of a legal necessity.

Speak with a Skilled Connecticut DUI Defense Lawyer

If you were stopped and arrested for DUI in CT, you may be facing harsh consequences. With so much on the line, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating aggressively to protect your rights and interests. At The APEX Law Firm, LLC, we have successfully defended numerous clients who have been charged for drunk driving in Connecticut. We can thoroughly review your case and advise you of your best options to mitigate the situation as much as possible.

For a consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (860) 900-0900 or send us a message through our web contact form. You may also visit our Hartford County office in person at your convenience.

DUI and the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and this a time for joy and celebration. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, we have several opportunities to spend time and make special memories with our family and friends. During these celebrations, alcohol is often involved. Unfortunately, this causes more people to get behind the wheel while intoxicated at this time of year, resulting in far too many holiday drunk driving accidents.

Every holiday season, hundreds of individuals are killed because of drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 4,000 people were killed in DUI crashes in the past five years during the month of December. And during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, approximately 300 people die each year in alcohol-related crashes.

Connecticut law enforcement is well aware of the increased likelihood of drunk driving during the holidays, and they have taken steps in recent years to crack down. This holiday season, you can expect:

  • A higher number of police officers patrolling the streets, especially on nights such as the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (commonly known as “Blackout Wednesday), Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve;
  • An increased number of DUI checkpoints;
  • Expedited field sobriety test (FST) procedures.

The penalties for DUI in Connecticut are harsh, even if this is your first time. First-time DUI offenders can face fines of up to $1,000, an automatic 45-day driver’s license suspension, two days up to six months in the county jail, probation with 100 hours of community service, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for one year (at your expense).

If this is your second DUI offense, the penalties are even worse. In addition to an automatic driver’s license suspension, you could be looking at up to $4,000 in fines, up to two years in prison, and an ignition interlock device in your car for three years. For a third offense, fines are higher, jail time is longer, and your driving privileges could be permanently revoked.

Aside from the direct penalties, there are other consequences for drunk driving convictions that could adversely impact your life in numerous ways. For example, if you are convicted for DUI, you may find it harder to apply for housing, obtain employment, qualify for a scholarship to college, or obtain/renew a professional license. A DUI may even impact your child custody case.

DUI and the Holidays: Be Prepared and Stay Safe this Year

With so much on the line, it’s just not worth it to get behind the wheel after you’ve had too much to drink. Here are some ways to ensure that you (and your loved ones) can stay safe and avoid a DUI arrest this holiday season:

  • Bring a Designated Driver: You have probably heard it 1,000 times before, but it bears repeating. If you go out with friends and you plan to drink, bring someone along to be your designated driver. If no one in your group wants to commit to staying sober, then at least have someone you can call for a ride if things get out of hand.
  • Bring Money for a Cab or Uber: If no one you are out with is sober and there’s nobody you can call for a ride, bring money along to get a cab or Uber. Don’t worry about leaving your car where it’s parked, you can always go back and get it in the morning.
  • Book a Hotel or Motel Close to the Party: Another way to avoid a DUI is to stay somewhere close to the party, so you don’t have to drive anywhere. If you can find a reasonably priced hotel or motel close by, this might be a good option.

Arrested for DUI? Contact an Experienced Attorney Right Away

Maybe you have already slipped up and gotten behind the wheel with too much to drink. If this has happened and you were arrested for drunk driving, you need skilled legal representation in your corner to ensure that your rights are protected, and that the situation can be mitigated as much as possible.

At The APEX Law Firm, LLC, we understand that good people make mistakes, and we are aggressive advocates on behalf of each client we serve. We have extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the Connecticut DUI laws, and we know the most effective defense strategies to minimize the negative consequences. For a personalized consultation with one of our seasoned Connecticut DUI attorneys, call us at (860) 900-0900 or visit our Hartford County office in person. You may also send a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.

Accident Resulting from Drunk Driving Takes Life of Southbury Man

A crash which resulted from an incident of drunk driving has caused fatal injuries to one man and serious injuries to his wife. Victims of drunk driving, such as this couple, may have options to recover damages from the responsible driver and, potentially, the establishment that sold the alcohol.

The fatal accident began with a police officer’s attempt to stop a driver who appeared intoxicated. Law enforcement tried to pull over a 35-year old Hartford man driving a 2004 Subaru Legacy after watching the man drive erratically through downtown Norwich, Connecticut. However, the Subaru driver refused to stop, sending police on an extended chase through the town, beginning on Route 32/West Thames Street. The driver led police east along Route 2/Main Street on the Shetucket River Bridge. The driver ricocheted off a curb before crossing into the westbound lanes, striking a 2010 Toyota Corolla which was stopped at a light. Both the 72-year-old woman driving the Corolla and her 74-year-old passenger were injured, as were the driver and passenger in the Legacy. All four individuals were taken to Backus Hospital. The Corolla passenger was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the driver was hospitalized for serious injuries. The passengers in both vehicles were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Drunk driving can have serious, life-altering consequences for its victims. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face criminal charges for driving under the influence, but they can also be sued by their victims for injuries resulting from accidents caused by their impaired driving. That said, many drivers who drive drunk do not have sufficient assets to satisfy a judgment for serious personal injuries stemming from their drunken driving. Fortunately, Connecticut victims of drunk driving accidents may have yet another avenue for recovery. Under the Connecticut Dram Shop Act, drunk driving victims may file a claim for damages against a bar or liquor store that sells alcohol to someone who is already intoxicated and later causes injury to another person as a result of their intoxication. Victims will need to gather eyewitness testimony and other evidence showing that the intoxicated person was drunk when making the alcohol purchase, such that the person selling them the alcohol would have been able to tell they were drunk, in order to recover money damages. An experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer can assist you in making these types of claims for money damages.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a crash with a drunk driver in Connecticut, contact the experienced and effective personal injury attorneys at The APEX Law Firm for a consultation in Hartford County at (860) 900-0900 or by using our website contact form.

Walk the Line

Why field sobriety tests are inconclusive, and how you might be paying for it in the end

Even if you’ve never been in a DUI situation before, chances are you have seen it on TV or in the movies – A police officer pulls over a young man or a frazzled business woman and asks the driver about where he or she was heading or coming from; the response in return, isn’t what the officer was looking for. The driver is asked to step out of the car and to perform a series of strange tasks in an effort to determine if they are sober or not. The problem here: a lot of those tasks are things that the average person has never tried before.

You don’t have to be drunk to stumble when attempting to walk in a straight line—especially in a moment of stress, or while wearing heels. Putting your finger on your nose might seem simple enough, until you try it with a police officer watching you, in the dark, with flashing lights all around you. Stress can cause people to act in ways they normally wouldn’t have and being pulled over by the police creates an environment that is designed for you to fail. Field sobriety tests are not a fair assessment of whether you are intoxicated.

Stress Test

Being charged with a DUI is very serious. You will rarely, if ever, successfully pass a field sobriety test because they so not count the things you do correctly, only the things you do incorrectly. You need to contact a DUI attorney immediately.

If you are pulled over for a field sobriety test, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Never explain to the officer that you “only had” a couple of drinks. This hands the officer evidence that you were drinking, and even if you are to maintain that you are under the legal limit, you are providing evidence against your case.
  2. Take a deep breath and calm down. The worst thing you can do in a field sobriety test is panic. This will make everything more difficult to handle and will likely prevent you from properly completing the tasks.
  3. Call a DUI attorney right away. Make sure that you log everything that happened when you were taking the field sobriety test and that you partner with an attorney as quickly as possible. The sooner you have an attorney on your side, the faster your case can be made in your favor.

Getting pulled over for any reason is a stressful experience, but being charged with a DUI is potentially life-changing. If you were recently pulled over and put through a field sobriety test, only to be charged with a DUI, then contact The APEX Law Firm to schedule a free-consultation. Having a DUI attorney on your side can make all the difference.