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What are the penalties for a first offense DUI in Connecticut?

While states have different penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol, in most cases, offenders are fined, lose their licenses and may be subjected to jail time or community service. In Connecticut, there are some specific penalties.

DMV penalties in Connecticut
One of the two branches of justice that will affect your standing in the wake of a DUI charge in the state is the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. Following your first offense, you must file for a hearing with the DMV no more than seven days after your DUI arrest, when the arresting officer and your DUI lawyer will appear before a DMV official and impartial officer to determine that the arrest was executed properly and establish the specifics of your case.

A number of factors determine the length of a license suspension following a first offense DUI charge, including blood alcohol level and age. If you are over the age of 21 and have a BAC level of between .08 and .159, your license will be suspended for 90 days. If your BAC is .16 or higher, your license will be suspended for 120 days.

If you are under the age of 21, any BAC level equal to or above .02 is considered over the legal limit, and offenders will lose their license for 90 days.

Criminal DUI penalties in Connecticut
In criminal court, you can be tried for a DUI even if your BAC is under the legal limit. If officers show that you are impaired despite a BAC test that shows you are under .08, you can still be arrested and charged with a DUI.

For your first offense, you will likely have to pay between $500 and $1,000 in court fees, and a criminal trial can result in additional fines as well as a prison term between two days and six months in length. A jail sentence can also be suspended in favor of community service of up to 100 hours.

Additional considerations
One important factor to consider following a first offense DUI is insurance. In Connecticut, you must maintain constant car insurance for three years after your DUI under an SR-22 agreement, an insurance specifically designed for individuals convicted of DUI. If your insurance coverage lapses for any reason during this period, your license is subject to additional suspensions.