Being arrested and convicted of your first-time DUI in Avon or anywhere else in Connecticut can deeply affect your quality of life, reputation, and livelihood. However, a first offense is treated less severely than subsequent DUI offenses. You can learn more about what you are up against for a 1st time DUI offense on this page.
Penalties For First Offense DUI
First offense punishments are the following:
- Either up to six months of a jail sentence suspended with 100 hours of community service and probation or six months imprisonment with at least two days minimum.
- A $500-$1,000 fine.
- A license suspension to last 45 days. This suspension is followed by driving with an ignition interlock device in your vehicle(s) for one year.
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A first offense DUI conviction in Avon can be avoided if you participate in a diversionary program. The law in Connecticut allows for a program called the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program which certain offenders who are charged with a DUI and qualify for can take. Upon completion of the program, the DUI charges will be dismissed, as the program will take the place of a trial and case.
Proceeding with the program means that the offender will agree to toll the statute of limitations, completing 10-15 counseling sessions in the program or a substance abuse treatment program along with additional counseling if ordered by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The program must be started within 90 days of the court’s permission. The offender must also take part in a victim impact panel if ordered.
The offender will be evaluated for eligibility for the program by the Court Support Services and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and these entities will also determine what program they are recommended for.
Commercial driving license holders, as well as offenders convicted of manslaughter or assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle while under the influence, operation or reckless operation of a vehicle while under the influence, cannot take part in the program. Additionally, those offenders under the age of 21 charged with a DUI and having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.02% cannot participate in the program.
Stricter penalties are given to first offenders that are 16 or 17 years old charged with a DUI, which is driving with a BAC of 0.02% or more. The police officer will hold their driver’s license for 48 hours, and the vehicle will be towed. Once the 48 hold period is up, the offender can retrieve the license by signing a release at the police station with a parent or guardian. Drivers charged with a DUI that are under the age of 18 will not qualify for youthful offender status and will face all of the penalties of a first-time DUI offender under §54-76b.
It is crucial to have a good attorney working to get you your best possible result in the DMV hearing as well as in the criminal case if you are charged with a 1st DUI in Avon. Call Lady DUI if you are looking for representation.