How Connecticut Handles DUIs

There are two intertwining parts of a DUI charge in the state of Connecticut. One part is the issue with the DMV. The other part is the issue with the Connecticut judicial system. In other words, when you receive a DUI, you are dealing with the DMV and the court system. I will discuss both of these processes on this page.

The DMV Process

The DMV may take away a driver’s license for two separate reasons. The first reason is when a chemical alcohol test is failed or refused. The other reason is a conviction for driving under the influence. In the state of Connecticut, there is an Implied Consent law. This law essentially states that any person operating a motor vehicle in the state has given his or her consent to the alcohol breath test.

Refusing consent to the breath test is essentially considered a civil violation, and not a criminal violation. So therefore, the penalty for refusal is license suspension. This being said, most DUI attorneys know and will advise clients to refuse the breath test, and fight the license suspension at a hearing in order to avoid incriminating evidence that could be proof of driving under the influence.

Because of this struggle between taking the breath test and refusing the breath test, this causes a conflict between taking the test to avoid license suspension, which may be used against you, and refusing the test but facing license suspension. The risk of license suspension far outweighs the risk of incriminating evidence against you when fighting against a DUI. Therefore, you should refuse a breath test.

The Criminal Process

The second part of a DUI is the issue with the judicial court system, and fighting against the criminal charge of driving under the influence. After getting arrested and charged with a DUI, you will be sent a summons and a court date. The penalties of getting convicted of a DUI could be:

  • A required one-year use of an IID installed in the driver’s vehicle.
  • Court fines and fees.
  • A 45 day license suspension.
  • A misdemeanor conviction on the driver’s criminal record.

These penalties increase depending on how many prior DUI convictions a driver has, and there is always a penalty of imprisonment for any DUI charge.

Getting Help

Because there are two intertwining factors that must be dealt with in DUI cases, they can often be extremely costly, time consuming, and confusing for those who choose to do it alone. If you have been charged with a DUI, call our office to speak with an attorney who can answer your questions and guide you on the best course of action for your individual circumstances.


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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