Increased BAC Penalties

If you are charged with a DUI and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above .16%, you can be charged with an "elevated BAC." An elevated BAC has additional consequences to a regular DUI charge. Learn more about these potential penalties and how to defend yourself on this page.


In the state of Connecticut, you can face a DUI charge if your blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches a certain level. But, there is also a level over this initial BAC that is referred to as an “elevated BAC.” If a police officer determines that you have an increased BAC, they will mark this when charging you for a DUI. An elevated BAC results in greater penalties than a regular DUI in Connecticut. To learn more about the elevated BAC and the consequences of it, read on.

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.

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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

Throughout the United States, a person drives under the influence if they have a BAC of .08% or higher. If your BAC is .16% or higher, this is considered an elevated or increased BAC. A regular DUI will result in penalties such as:

  • A license suspension of up to a year.
  • A fine of $500-$1,000.
  • A jail sentence of up to six months.

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 or increased 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.

Increased BAC Consequences

These are the consequences for a first time offense if the person has an increased BAC. Second or subsequent offenses will result in greater penalties. These are:

  • A license suspension of up to a year.
  • A fine of $1,000-$4,000.
  • A jail sentence of up to two years.

Third or subsequent offenses result in:

If you have this type of BAC, the license suspension, fines, and jail sentence could be greater. This is because it is even more dangerous to drive with an elevated BAC.

Defending Yourself

As you can see, the consequences for a DUI with an increased BAC can be severe. This is a more serious situation than if you are charged with a DUI with a BAC under .16%. Because of the seriousness of the situation, if you are arrested for a DUI and you had a BAC of .16% or more, you should contact a DUI attorney in Connecticut.

I am such an attorney and I can help you with your case. I have worked with DUI with an elevated BAC cases before and am happy to answer your questions. Your situation differs from a regular Connecticut DUI, so make sure that you get the help that you need. For more information, feel free to contact me for a free consultation. I am happy to take a look at your case and help.

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