After a Connecticut DUI arrest, the DMV is alerted of the arrest by the arresting agency and is responsible for suspending an arrestee’s license pursuant to C.G.S. §14-227b. The DMV is directly responsible for suspending a license if the driver violates the implied consent law in Connecticut or fails a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. You can learn more about violations and driving with a suspension here.
The Role of the DMV
A violation of the implied consent law occurs when a driver refuses to submit to a BAC test by way of a blood, urine, or breath sample, whichever is requested by the officer. Under implied consent, every driver that drives on public roads has implicitly consented to submitting to a BAC test. Because of this, a refusal is a direct violation of this law. Further, if a driver does submit to a BAC test, but the results reveal an elevated blood alcohol content, the DMV also has the authority to suspend the driver’s license. The typical length of suspension for a first offense is 45 days, which is automatic and can be contested through an administrative hearing.
On the other hand, DUI cases that are resolved through a conviction or a plea deal will often result in a license suspension. Depending on how many DUI convictions a person has on their record, the length of suspension will differ. For a first DUI, the suspension is typically one year, a second DUI is three years, and a third or subsequent DUI is a permanent revocation.
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Due to the importance of driving for a person’s day-to-day life, there are certain exceptions to license suspensions that the Connecticut DMV has passed. These exceptions allow certain drivers to obtain work permits to drive even with a suspended license. Work permits are very strict and are only granted after qualifying and meeting the standards.
If the work permit is granted, the driver will be allowed to drive to and from work in order to maintain a job and not be prevented from making a living. Despite the often immediate need for a work permit, the DMV may take weeks or sometimes months to issue a requested work permit. In some cases, the DMV may deny the work permit altogether.
For first-time DUI offenders, the DMV will allow the driver to drive only with vehicles that are equipped with ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for one year. Drivers who are under the age of 21 at the time of the DUI must drive only with the ignition interlock device for three years.
Second-time DUI offenders face a three-year license suspension. In addition, during the first year of this period, the driver may only drive vehicles with the ignition interlock and may only drive to and from work, school, substance abuse treatment, or ignition interlock service centers. Second and subsequent DUI offenders must also submit to an alcohol or drug abuse assessment and undergo substance abuse treatment if the court orders.
It is never a good idea to get in the car and drive with a suspended driver’s license, and the same goes with driving to an unapproved destination that is outside the parameters of the work permit exceptions. Getting caught while driving with a suspended license can result in criminal charges.
The first offense could result in a fine between $150 and $200 and up to 90 days of incarceration. A second offense could result in a $200-600 fine and up to one year of incarceration. Additionally, the court can apply consequences like community service hours. Driving with a suspended license could result in even higher penalties, including incarceration of 2-3 years. Additionally, law enforcement can tow the vehicle at the driver’s expense.
Once the license suspension period has ended, the DMV will update the driver’s status on their website. The license will be reinstated by the DMV after paying a $175 reinstatement fee. Once the license has been reinstated, the driver is again clear to drive on Connecticut roads. Remember that you must pay this reinstatement fee and get approval from the DMV before you begin driving again.
If you have had your Connecticut license suspended by the DMV, you will need a lawyer who understands the law and the procedures that are involved with fighting the suspension, as well as charges for driving with a suspended license. Contact Lady DUI today for help and guidance regarding your license suspension.