Penalties for Driving With Increased BAC Levels in Connecticut

In Connecticut, driving under the influence is taken very seriously. For this reason, there have been increased BAC penalties in Connecticut for people who are driving while severely intoxicated. In all American states, you can be charged with driving under the influence if you are driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. If arrested because your BAC is above .08%, you can be penalized. Common penalties include fines, potential jail time, and a suspension of your license. However, your license suspension will increase if you are found driving with an elevated BAC. Understanding the potential suspensions for an elevated BAC can help you understand what you could be facing.

Breath Tests

If you are pulled over by a police officer and they suspect that you have been drinking, you will probably be asked to submit a breath test. When you take the breath test, if your blood alcohol content is less than .08%, you probably won’t be charged with a DUI. This is because you will be under the legal limit. If your BAC is .08% or higher, but it is below .16%, you will probably be charged with a DUI. The license suspension for a first offense in this category will last for 90 days.

A second offense will result in a license suspension of nine months.

Finally, a third or subsequent offense will result in a license suspension of two years. License suspensions are given by the Department of Motor Vehicles, not by the court. This means that in some cases, you can get a verdict of not guilty from the court and still receive a driving suspension penalty from the DMV.

Elevated BAC

If you have an elevated BAC, meaning that your BAC is .16% or higher, the license suspension will be longer. For a first offense, the license suspension will last for 120 days. A second offense with an elevated BAC will result in a license suspension for 10 months. A third or subsequent offense will result in a license suspension of two and one half years. If you refuse to take a breath test, the license suspension is longer than if you submit to the test. This is due to the fact that Connecticut, like all states, has implied consent laws. These laws say that when you decide to get your license and every time you choose to drive a vehicle, you must submit to a breath test if asked by the police.

Even if you have had nothing to drink, you must take the breath test if a police officer asks you to. If you refuse to submit to the test, you will be breaking the implied consent laws, whether you are driving under the influence or not. As a result, you will receive a mandatory license suspension. For a first offense, your license will be suspended for six months. For a second offense, your license will be suspended for one year. A third or subsequent offense will result in a license suspension of three years.

DUI penalties can depend on how high your BAC is when you are stopped by the police. If you have an elevated BAC, you will receive a longer license suspension than if your BAC is at or just over .08%. Keep in mind that refusing to take a breath test will also result in a longer license suspension.


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