There are two distinct aspects to a DUI in Connecticut, the criminal aspect and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) aspect. This causes confusion, particularly in the area of implied consent. Implied consent means that implicitly, when one drives on a Connecticut road, they have consented to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, and while refusal may prevent evidence that may be used against you in a criminal trial, refusing a BAC test will result in automatic suspension on the DMV side. On this page, you can learn more about DMV court hearings, how they are connected to driving under the influence charges, and how to protect yourself and your license if you face a Greenwich DUI.
After a DUI Charge
Upon refusal or failing of a BAC test, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be notified and will send a notice to the person informing them of the date their license suspension begins and ends. The suspension is automatic, but it can be fought. The notice begins the clock, typically seven days, for the person to appeal the decision at a “per se” hearing at the DMV. These hearings take place in one of four locations, Bridgeport, Old Saybrook, Wethersfield, and Waterbury.
Department of Motor Vehicles Per Se Hearings
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The DMV hearings are usually much more quickly handled and less formal than what is typically found in a courthouse. Part of the reason they move quickly is that there are only four things that may be challenged in these hearings. Those four elements are:
- If the police had probable cause.
- If the person was driving the vehicle.
- If the person was arrested.
- If the person refused or failed the BAC test.
These can be on a technicality or because of a deprivation of a fundamental right, but BAC refusals and failures are violations of the implied consent law, so unless this is shown, the suspension will be upheld.
The importance of these hearings is immense, as it has a lasting impact on a person’s ability to conduct their affairs. If your license is suspended, you won’t have the ability to drive yourself to work, school, run errands, or engage in social aspects of your life.
If you have been notified of one of these hearings, it is your best course of action to hire an attorney who has worked with Greenwich DUIs and has attended Department of Motor Vehicles hearings on their clients’ behalf. Many lawyers will not represent you at a DMV hearing because these hearings are hard to win. However, we always help our clients with their DMV hearings and fight the automatic license suspension. If this is something that you want to do and need help with, contact our office.