What If I’m a Connecticut Resident and I Get a DUI in a Nearby State?

Getting a DUI is never a pleasant experience. But, if you get a DWI while driving in a different state, the experience can be even more stressful. What laws does this other state have regarding DUI? How will an out-of-state DUI affect your Connecticut license? This is information that you need.

DWI in New York

Many people who live and drive in Connecticut also spend time driving in the surrounding states. Whether you have a business meeting, you’re going on vacation, or you’re spending time with family, many Connecticut drivers will spend time driving in the state of New York. Many Connecticut drivers also get charged with DWI in New York. If this has happened to you, here is some information that you need to know.

DWI vs. DWAI

DWI is not the only alcohol or drug related driving offense in New York. The state of New York also considers driving while ability impaired (DWAI) a driving offense. DWAI happens if your blood alcohol content is between .05 and .08%. But, as a Connecticut driver, a police officer will likely not charge you with DWAI, since Connecticut does not recognize this driving offense.

DWI Penalties

New York DWI penalties are as follows.

For a first offense:

  • No mandatory jail time.
  • A fine of $500-$1,000.
  • A six month minimum license suspension.
  • Mandatory enrollment in the ignition interlock device program once your license is restored.

For a second offense:

  • A mandatory minimum of five days in jail. Alternatively, you can serve 30 days of community service.
  • A fine of $500-$5,000.
  • A one year minimum license suspension.
  • Participation in the ignition interlock device program once your license gets restored.

For a third offense:

  • A mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail. Alternatively, you could serve 60 days of community service.
  • A fine of $500-$10,000.
  • A six year minimum license suspension.
  • Participation in the ignition interlock device program once your license gets restored.

If you refuse to take the chemical test in the state of New York, the penalties will be more severe. A first offense refusal will result in a mandatory one year suspension of your license. A second offense refusal will result in a mandatory 18 month suspension of your license. A third offense refusal will also result in a mandatory 18 month suspension of your license.

OUI in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, the intoxication driving offense is referred to as OUI. OUI stands for operating under the influence. It is comparable to the DUI in the state of Connecticut, or the DWI in the state of New York. To get charged with OUI in Massachusetts, your blood alcohol content (BAC) has to be .08% or higher. This is the case for drivers over the age of 21. For those under the age of 21, the legal BAC limit is .02%. If you violate BAC laws in Massachusetts, you face an OUI. 

OUI Penalties

The types of penalties for OUI in Massachusetts are fairly standard, but you need to be aware of the specifics for this state. In Massachusetts, the specific penalties tend to be higher than for some other states.

For a first offense you face:

  • A jail sentence of up to 30 months.
  • A fine of $500-$5,000.
  • A license suspension of one year.

For a second offense, you face:

  • A jail sentence of 30 days-30 months.
  • A fine of $600-$10,000. 
  • A license suspension of two years.
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in vehicle once license suspension ends.

For a third offense you face:

  • A jail sentence of 130 days-5 years.
  • A fine of $1,000-$15,000.
  • A license suspension of eight years.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in vehicle once license suspension ends.

For a fourth offense, you face:

  • A prison sentence of 1-5 years.
  • A fine of $1,500-$25,000.
  • A license suspension of 10 years.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in vehicle once license suspension ends.

For a fifth offense you face:

  • A prison sentence of 2-5 years.
  • A fine of $2,000-$50,000.
  • A permanent suspension of your license.

Keep in mind that these are the maximum penalties for OUI in Massachusetts. With the help of a lawyer, you can likely face reduced penalties for OUI.

DUI in New Jersey

Spending time in New Jersey can be a lot of fun. You might head to Wildwood for a beach getaway. Or, you might visit family or friends throughout the state. Whatever your reason for going to New Jersey, you probably don’t want the trip to get spoiled. But, if you receive a DUI (also known as a DWI) in New Jersey, this can definitely put a damper on your time in this state. If you are a Connecticut resident, you might not know very much about DUI laws in New Jersey. If this is the case, you should read on to learn more about New Jersey DUIs as well as the potential penalties.

DUI Penalties

As in most other states, DUI penalties will depend on the circumstances of your arrest and the number of previous DUI convictions that you have. 

For a first offense, you face:

  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days.
  • A fine of $250-$500.
  • A license suspension of three months to one year.
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device on your motor vehicle. This will depend on the circumstances of your case.

For a second offense you face:

  • A jail sentence of up to 90 days.
  • A fine of $500-$1,000.
  • A license suspension of two years.
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device on your motor vehicle. This will depend on the circumstances of your case.

For a third offense, you face:

  • A jail sentence of up to 180 days.
  • A fine of $1,000.
  • A license suspension of 10 years.
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device on your motor vehicle. This will depend on the circumstances of your case.

Additional Penalties

In addition to these standard penalties, you face additional surcharges and penalties. These include:

  • A $100 surcharge for a drunk driving enforcement fund.
  • A $100 fee for violent crime compensation.
  • $100 fee for motor vehicle restoration.
  • A $100 fine for the state and municipality fee.
  • A $100 fee that goes to the intoxicated driver program.

Also, you could face additional suspension of your license if a police officer asks you to take a breath or chemical test and you refuse. Refusing violates New Jersey’s implied consent law. For a first time refusal, your license will get revoked for an additional seven months. For a second time refusal, your license will get revoked for an additional two years. Finally, for a third time refusal, your license will get revoked for an additional 10 years. If you want to avoid greater license suspensions, you should take a breath or chemical test if it is asked of you.

Vermont DWI

Getting a DWI in Vermont is a little different than getting a DUI in Connecticut. Still, the two have similarities. Both refer to a violation of drinking and driving law. These offenses also have similar penalties. But, they differ slightly in their definitions. You can face a Vermont DWI charge if your BAC is .04% or higher. On the other hand, you won’t be charged with a Connecticut DUI until your BAC is .08% or higher. So, it is much easier to get charged with a DWI then a DUI.

DWI Penalties

In the state of Vermont, you face certain penalties if convicted of DWI.

For a first offense, you face:

  • A prison sentence of up to two years.
  • A fine of up to $750.
  • A driver’s license suspension imposed by the court.
  • Driver’s license suspension imposed by the DMV of 90 days. This includes 30 days of driving with an ignition interlock device on your car.
  • To have your driver’s license reinstated after the suspension, there is an $82 fee. 
  • An alcohol assessment screening fee of $200.
  • A restricted driver’s license fee of $125. 
  • Participation in an alcohol and driving education program, which costs $250.
  • Mandatory financial responsibility insurance for your motor vehicle.

For a second offense, you face:

  • A prison sentence of up to two years.
  • A fine of up to $1,500.
  • 200 hours of community service or 60 hours in jail.
  • Driving suspension imposed by the court. 
  • Driving suspension imposed by the DMV. This suspension lasts for 18 months, with 90 days of driving with ignition interlock device. 
  • The above fees associated imposed by the DMV. 

For a third offense, you face:

  • A prison sentence of up to five years.
  • A fine of up to $2,5000.
  • Your driver’s license will be suspended for three years, with one year using an ignition interlock device.
  • You also face the fines imposed by the DMV listed above.

For a fourth or subsequent offense, you face:

  • A prisons sentence of up to 10 years.
  • A fine of up to $5,000.
  • Your license will be revoked for life.
  • You also face the fines imposed by the DMV listed above.

DUI In Rhode Island

Whether you go to school in Rhode Island, visit Newport for a weekend getaway, or have family or friends who live there, you might have many different reasons to visit Rhode Island as a Connecticut resident. While in Rhode Island, you might face a motor vehicle violation. One such violation you might be charged with is DUI. Here, I discuss the penalties for getting a DUI in Rhode Island. They differ from Connecticut penalties, so understanding them is important.

DUI Penalties

The DUI penalties in Rhode Island are as follows.

For a first offense:

  • A jail sentence of up to one year.
  • A fine of $500-$1,000.
  • License suspension for 2-18 months.

In addition, if on your first offense you refuse the chemical test, you face more penalties. This is because refusing the chemical test violates the state’s implied consent laws. So, you face an additional $200-$500 fine, 10-60 hours of community service, and an additional six month license suspension. 

For a second DUI offense:

  • You face a minimum of 10 days in jail, and up to a one year sentence.
  • A fine of $400-$1,000. 
  • A license suspension of 1-2 years.
  • The license suspension is followed by a period of ignition interlock device installation in your car.

For refusing a chemical test, you also face possible jail time, a fine of $600-$1,000, 60-100 hours of community service, and an additional year long license suspension.

For a third DUI offense, you face:

  • 1-5 year jail sentence. 
  • A fine of $400-$5,000.
  • A license suspension of at least two years.
  • Participation in the ignition interlock device program after your license suspension is lifted.

If you refuse a chemical test for a third time, you also face additional jail time, another fine of 800-$1,000, 100 hours of community service, and a license suspension of 2-5 years. 

Penalties for Those Under 21

If you are under 21 years old and you are caught driving under the influence, the penalties will be more severe. This is because it is illegal to drink any alcohol at this age, let alone drink and drive. For a first offense, you face an additional license suspension of 1-3 months, fines, and community service hours. Then, for a second offense, you face a license suspension of 3-6 months, fines, and community service. For a third or subsequent offense, you face an additional license suspension.

DUI in Pennsylvania

Have you been driving in the state of Pennsylvania? Maybe you were visiting Philadelphia, driving to school or a business meeting, or visiting family and friends. Whatever your reason for traveling in Pennsylvania, you might be checking out this page because you had a run in with the law during your travels. If this is the case, you need to know what happens next. If you face a motor vehicle violation, such as a DUI, you need to understand the consequences that you could experience. Here, I will provide this information.

Pennsylvania DUI Penalties

The penalties for a DUI in Pennsylvania will vary based on your personal situation. A good DUI lawyer might be able to help you get the minimum penalties for this offense. In addition, if you are a first time offender, there are a lot of options that can help you reduce the penalties. Consider the following penalties in Pennsylvania based on the number of DUI offenses that you have.

For a first time offense, you could face the following penalties:

  • A $300 fine.
  • An ignition interlock device in your vehicle if you refused to take the chemical test.
  • If you refuse to take the chemical test, you face a license suspension of one year. 
  • There is no mandatory minimum jail sentence for a first time DUI offense in Pennsylvania. But, a judge could order a jail sentence if they deem it necessary. 

For a second time offense, you face:

  • A $300-$2,500 fine. 
  • A license suspension of twelve months. If you refuse the chemical test, this license suspension is on top of another 18 month license suspension. 
  • An ignition interlock device being used in your vehicle. 
  • A jail sentence of five days to six months. 

For a third or subsequent offense, DUI penalties include:

  • A $500-$5,000 fine.  
  • A license suspension of 12 months. This suspension is in addition to an 18 month suspension if you refused to take the chemical test. 
  • An ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
  • A jail sentence of 10 days to two years. 

Also note that the state of Pennsylvania determines penalties by considering what a person’s BAC level was at the time of their arrest. There are penalty tiers based on BAC level. These tiers correspond to BAC levels of .08, .10, .159, and .16.

For assistance with an out of state DUI or similar charge, please contact my office. I can answer your questions and get you the resources that you need during this difficult time.

ATTORNEY TERESA DINARDI

My name is Teresa, and I am a DUI lawyer, but that is only part of who I am. I have been practicing law in Connecticut since 2006.

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