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Connecticut Drunk Driving - BAC Testing Procedures

Connecticut drunk driving laws state that a person is considered under the influence if their blood alcohol content or BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08%. Drivers with an illegal BAC or can be arrested without any direct evidence of impairment. Drivers may also be
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arrested for driving under the influence if their ability to drive is “affected by an appreciable degree.” Evidence to support impairment is required if their BAC is below the legal limit. Younger drivers may also be arrested for drunk driving if they are operating a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or more. DUI laws are in enforced on highways, roads and the operator’s property and drivers can be charged operating a variety of motorized vehicles.

Administering a BAC Test in Connecticut

  Many drivers who are stopped for drunk driving in Connecticut are curious about the authority of the police officer to administer a blood alcohol content test. Drivers also may be unaware that they have given their implied consent to submit to a BAC test if asked to do so by arresting officers. A driver’s BAC can be legally measured by administering a blood, breath or urine test. Under Connecticut state laws the police officer has the choice of which test to administer.

Can the BAC test be used in court?

  There are very specific requirements which must be met for the state to be able to submit the blood alcohol content test as evidence in the driver’s criminal trial.
  1. Drivers have the legal right to be given a “reasonable chance” to call a DUI lawyer prior to submitting to the BAC test.
  2. The driver must be sent a copy of their test results (the results can be hand-delivered or mailed).
  3. The police officer must administer the test themselves or at their direction.
  4. The testing procedures must follow the standards and requirements outlined by the Connecticut Department of Public Safety.
  5. All testing equipment must meet the compliance standards outlined by the DPS.
  6. The officer must administer another test of the same type within 30 minutes of administering the first test. Exceptions exist if the officer believes the driver may be intoxicated with drugs; in this case they may administer a different BAC test.
  7. The BAC must be instigated within 2 hours after the time of the alleged offense.

What happens if I refuse the BAC test?

  If you have refused the BAC test you will face automatic administrative penalties which are enforced by the Department of Public Safety and suspension of your driver’s license are imposed regardless of whether or not you are ultimately convicted of drunk driving. Evidence of your test refusal can also be used in court, assuming the correct procedures were used. The court will notify the jury what they should and should not consider from the driver’s refusal.

Hiring a DUI lawyer in Connecticut

  Drivers arrested for DUI should contact a DUI lawyer immediately. If you refused the BAC test or if you failed the test you are facing immediately penalties from the Connecticut DPS. DUI fines and penalties are also severe if you are convicted of DUI.
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