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Connecticut DUI Defense
Connecticut Drunk Driving Defense
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Connecticut DUI Arrest Questions and Answers

Before you read these questions and answers, I want to make one thing clear. The law is very complicated at times. There are often many variables to DUI matters. So, no question or answer is as simple as it appears. I am trying to give you a brief outlook into this area of the law. These responses are not meant to be a substitute for you consulting with an attorney because each case is different and there are exceptions to every rule. So, my advice to each and everyone of you is that if you are charged with a DUI, contact an attorney. If not me then someone else. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse!

General DUI Questions
1. What happens when I get charged with a DUI? Answer
2. Can I appeal my DUI conviction? Answer
Driver’s License Issues
1. What happens if I do not schedule a DMV hearing? Answer
2. What happens when I schedule the DMV hearing? Answer
3. Does every DUI case trigger a DUI suspension notice? Answer
4. If I win at the Administrative Per Se Hearing, do the Court Charges go away? Answer
5. If I lose at the DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing, for how long will the DMV suspend my license? Answer
6. If I lose at the Administrative Per Se Hearing and the Court matter results in a conviction, do the license suspension run one after the other or do they overlap? Answer
7. If I suffer a license suspension either from the DMV, the Court or both, how can I get to work? Answer
8. Doesn’t the DMV or the Court care about me supporting my family if I cannot drive or am in jail? Answer
9. If I disagree with the Administrative Per Se Hearing decision, do I have the right to appeal it? Answer
Alcohol Education Program (AEP)
1. What is the Alcohol Education Program (AEP)? Answer
2. How do I qualify for the AEP program? Answer
3. With regard to the cost of the AEP program, do I have to have all of the Money up front? Answer
4. What happens when I complete the AEP program? Answer
5. What happens if I do not complete the AEP program? Answer
6. When I get placed on the AEP program and my case is dismissed, do I have a Drunk Driving Conviction on my record? Answer
7. If I do not qualify for the AEP Education Program and have to face the Criminal charge of Drunk Driving, what penalties am I looking at? Answer
8. What sort of disclosures will a person who successfully completes the AEP program have to make to prospective law enforcement employers or private employers? Answer

 

General DUI Questions
1. What happens when I get charged with a DUI?

Two things: One, you have to go to the Connecticut Superior Court in the Geographic Area where you were arrested and defend the DUI charge in Court; two, you will receive a suspension notice from the DMV and You have to schedule a hearing challenging the suspension.Return

2. Can I appeal my DUI conviction?

Yes.Return

Driver’s License Issues
1. What happens if I do not schedule a DMV hearing?

Your CT driver’s license or privilege to drive in CT will be suspended as stated in the suspension notice.Return

2. What happens when I schedule the DMV hearing?

You will receive written notification of the date and time to be present for Your DMV hearing. This is called the Administrative Per Se hearing. On that date and time, you will meet with a DMV hearing officer. These Men and Women are attorneys engaged in private practice, who represent The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. They are highly skilled in this Area of the law. You will put on your case at this administrative hearing, in an attempt, to have your license restored.Return

3. Does every DUI case trigger a DUI suspension notice?

No. In rare instances you may be arrested for DUI and never receive a DMV suspension notice because the arrest Report (A44 Form) is filed too late with the DMV, for a variety of technical reasons. There are other reasons, also. If your BAC is under 0.08 %, you will not have a hearing.Return

4. If I win at the Administrative Per Se Hearing, do the Court Charges go away?

No. One has nothing to do with the other. The Courts have ruled on this. There is no double jeopardy. The DMV matter is an Administrative matter while the Court matter is a Criminal matter.Return

5. If I lose at the DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing, for how long will the DMV suspend my license?

The driver’s license sanctions (license suspension periods) outlined below have been revised recently and will be imposed in addition to criminal penalties. In most cases, the driver’s license sanctions will be imposed much earlier. In all cases, they will be imposed in addition to criminal penalties and will appear on your driving record.

Driver’s 16 and 17-Years-Old
Blood Alcohol Level 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to submit to a blood, breath or urine test. 18 months 2 years 6 years
Test results of .02 or higher; up to, but not including, .16. 1 year 2 years 4 years
Test results of .16 or higher. 1 year 30 months 5 years

 

Driver’s Between the Ages 18 to 20
Blood Alcohol Level 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to submit to a blood, breath or urine test. 1 year 2 years 6 years
Test results of .02 or higher; up to, but not including, .16. 6 months 18 months 4 years
Test results of .16 or higher. 240 days 20 months 5 years

 

Drivers 21 Years Old and Older
Blood Alcohol Level 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Refusal to submit to a blood, breath or urine test. 6 months 1 year 3 years
Test results of .08 or higher; up to, but not including, .16. 90 days 9 months 2 years
Test results of .16 or higher. 120 days 10 months 2.5 years

If you have been arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and either failed a chemical alcohol analysis of your blood, breath, or urine or refused to submit to such analysis, your operator’s license or privilege is suspended effective 12:01 a.m. on the thirty-first day following the date of the arrest. A Notice of Suspension will be mailed to your address of record allowing seven days to request a hearing.

Before the final date to request a hearing noted on the suspension notice, you must call the Administrative Per Se Unit directly at 860-263-5204. That Unit can be contacted between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you have already scheduled a hearing and wish to request a continuance for good cause, you must contact the Administrative Per Se Unit directly at 860-263-5204. However, if the suspension has already taken effect and you would like to find out your requirements for restoration, please either write or call:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Driver Services Division
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161-2525
Phone: 860-263-5720Return

6. If I lose at the Administrative Per Se Hearing and the Court matter results in a conviction, do the license suspension run one after the other or do they overlap?

The simple answer is that they overlap if they go into effect at the same time. However, if one goes into effect today and another 2 months from today, then they may overlap part of the time, and the latter suspension will continue on as the prior one ends.Return

7. If I suffer a license suspension either from the DMV, the Court or both, how can I get to work?

You may be entitled to a Special Driving Permit for this purpose. However, if you have a previous alcohol related suspension, you may not qualify. You fill out the proper form and submit it to DMV Driver Services Division. They will review your Driver History and determine if you are eligible.Return

8. Doesn’t the DMV or the Court care about me supporting my family if I cannot drive or am in jail?

It isn’t that these people do not care. They are enforcing the laws passed by the Connecticut Legislature and doing what they have to do. Remember, the Legislature passes the laws that Judges, Prosecutors and the Police have to enforce. We have to live within the rule of law. Sometimes, we may all agree that the penalties are too stiff, but that is as far as it goes.Return

9. If I disagree with the Administrative Per Se Hearing decision, do I have the right to appeal it?

Yes.Return

Alcohol Education Program (AEP)
1. What is the Alcohol Education Program (AEP)?

This is a diversionary program that results in the Criminal Drunk Driving Charge being dismissed provided you qualify for the program and complete the course you are offered. There is an application fee of $200.00. The Court, if you qualify, will order you to take either 10 or 15 sessions of this educational program. The added cost for the 10 session program is $350.00 and for the 15 sessions it is $500.00.Return

2. How do I qualify for the AEP program?

You make the application to the Court. You will be placed under oath, by the Clerk, and the Judge will ask you several questions. If you answer that you have never been convicted of the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in Connecticut, or any other state, and you have not had the AEP in Connecticut or any other state within the past 10 years, you are qualified. Then the Adult Probation Department will check your criminal and driver history to verify the accuracy of your answers. Remember, when you respond to the Judge’s questions you are answering under the penalty of perjury. Some attorneys will tell you that if your conviction for a drunk driving offense is over 10 years old, that you qualify for the AEP program. This is not accurate. If you have a conviction for drunk driving, then you do not qualify for the AEP.Return

3. With regard to the cost of the AEP program, do I have to have all of the Money up front?

You pay the $200.00 when you make the application. The rest of the monies are due when you come back to Court and are placed in the program. However, if you don’t have the money because you are poor, you may not have to pay the monies. However, many Courts will ask you to do some form of community service, instead. If you are not poor, but need additional time to come up with the money, most Courts are willing to work with you and give you a reasonable amount of time. However, it all depends on the Judge.Return

4. What happens when I complete the AEP program?

The simple answer is that your case is dismissed one year after the Judge granted your application for the AEP program and provided you completed it.Return

5. What happens if I do not complete the AEP program?

The simple answer is that you will be brought back into Court, and at that point, the Judge can order you treated as a First Offender, which means that you are facing jail, fine and probation, along with a lost of license for 1 year. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO COMPLETE THE COURSE. However, in some instances and for good cause shown, the Court may re-instate you into the AEP and give you a certain amount of time to complete it. Remember, when you go on this program, document all that you do, CYA in case a problem arises such as missing a class or having a falling out with the program director or the teacher. When there is a problem, you should contact Adult Probation. Remember though, that all of these individuals have 8 hours a day to do their jobs. They are in Court and meeting with people. If you screw up, it is your fault! The Court will stick up for them. So, take the classes.Return

6. When I get placed on the AEP program and my case is dismissed, do I have a Drunk Driving Conviction on my record?

The simple answer is NO! However, while you have no Conviction, your Driver History at the DMV will reflect the AEP program.Return

7. If I do not qualify for the AEP Education Program and have to face the Criminal charge of Drunk Driving, what penalties am I looking at?

Under Connecticut’s criminal law, a driver arrested for DUI will receive both a summons and a court date. If the court proceedings result in a conviction, the following penalties must be imposed:

Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, C.G.S §14-227a, §14-227g or §14-111n conviction on or after January 1, 2012
First Conviction Second Conviction Third or Subsequent Conviction
Fine $500 to $1,000 $1,000 to $4,000 $2,000 to $8,000
OUI convictions after January 1, 2012.
  • 45 days license suspension.
  • All other terms of suspensions must be served except 14-227b.
  • One year IID requirement from restoration date.
  • If previously convicted of 53a-56b or 53a 60d, it’s considered the 2nd offense.
  • 45 days license suspension or until 21st birthday, whichever is longer.
  • All other terms of suspensions must be served except 14-227b.
  • Three years IID requirement from restoration date.
  • If you serve less than a one year suspension, you are restricted to drive to and from work or school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, probation appointments or an ignition interlock device service center for the first year. (You must carry the appropriate schedule at all times.)
Permanent Revocation.
May request a hearing after at least 2 years after date of revocation.

 

Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, C.G.S. §14-227a, §14-227g or §14-111n conviction prior to January 1, 2012
First Conviction Second Conviction Third or Subsequent Conviction
Under 21 years old for OUI convictions prior to January 1, 2012 1 year license suspension.
  • 3 years license suspension or until 21st birthday, whichever is longer.
  • Two years IID requirement from restoration date.
  • If you serve less than a one year suspension, you are restricted to drive to and from work or school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, probation appointments or an ignition interlock device service center for the first year. (You must carry the appropriate schedule at all times.)
Permanent Revocation.
May request a hearing after at least 2 years after date of revocation.
21 and older for OUI convictions prior to January 1, 2012.
  • 1 year license suspension.
  • 1 year license suspension.
  • Two years IID requirement from restoration date.
  • If you serve less than a one year suspension, you are restricted to drive to and from work or school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, probation appointments or an ignition interlock device service center for the first year. (You must carry the appropriate schedule at all times.)
Permanent Revocation.
May request a hearing after at least 2 years after date of revocation.

You may petition, in writing, to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles for the option to participate in the IID program. After serving more than 45 days of your suspension but less than one year under C.G.S 14-227a, 14-227g and 14-111n, you will be required to have an IID for the remainder of the suspension on a first conviction or for a second conviction, the remainder of your suspension plus an additional two years.

 

Vehicular Manslaughter, C.G.S. §53a-56b or
Vehicular Assault, C.G.S. §53a-60d
First Conviction Second or subsequent Conviction
Vehicular Manslaughter conviction 1 year license suspension. Two years IID requirement from restoration date. 1 year license suspension. Two years IID requirement from restoration date.
Vehicle Assault conviction 1 year license suspension. Two years IID requirement from restoration date. 1 year license suspension. Two years IID requirement from restoration date.

Return

8. What sort of disclosures will a person who successfully completes the AEP program have to make to prospective law enforcement employers or private employers?

This memo assumes a client will successfully complete the AEP program.

  1. From now until time of AEP completion: if asked “have you ever been arrested?” you would answer, “yes.” If asked whether you have ever been arrested for a felony, the answer is “no.”
  2. When asked at any time “have you ever been convicted of any crime?” the answer is “no.” The AEP program suspends prosecution during the time of participation in the program so there is no conviction while participating in the AEP program.
  3. Upon successful completion of the AEP, the client should immediately file for dismissal of the charges. After the dismissal of the charges, which takes one year, and expiration of the time for appeal, the client should immediately petition for erasure of his records under 54-142a. Once the petition to erase is granted, the client can swear that he was never arrested.
    Conn. Gen. Stat. §54-142a (e): Any person who shall have been the subject of such an erasure shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.

The only sticking point comes if the client is asked “have you ever participated in any sort of alcohol education or alcohol rehabilitation program?” He would have to answer “yes.” If this comes up in the course of employment and the client has been squeaky clean since his arrest, he probably can explain it away as a stupid-youth experience from which he certainly learned his lesson.Return

Attorney Steven A. Tomeo

  • Personalized & Aggressive Legal Representation
  • 20+ years of Experience
  • Member of the Connecticut Bar Association
  • Member of National College for DUI Defense

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