Many people misunderstand their ability to refuse to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test if accused of driving under the influence (DUI) in Milford, Connecticut. This is due to the doctrine of implied consent. You can learn more about implied consent and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) proceedings here.
Implied consent means that anyone driving a car on a public roadway has implicitly agreed to do a BAC test. Refusing a BAC test means that your license will a suspended by the DMV, even if you are not charged with a DUI or if you are eventually found innocent of a DUI in criminal court. The differences between the DMV hearing and criminal proceedings are important for you to understand if you refused a BAC test or if you are charged with DUI in Milford. Refusing a BAC does deny the prosecution some ability to gather evidence to be used against you in a criminal proceeding, but it will also trigger DMV proceedings against you.
The Role of the Department of Motor Vehicles
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After refusing to take a BAC test or failing a BAC test, the DMV will be notified and will automatically suspend the driver’s license, effective on a certain date. Further, the date of notice will begin the clock on your ability to attend an administrative hearing in order to appeal this ruling, which is typically seven days. It is extremely important to be cognizant of the fact that the DMV and criminal court aspects of the DUI process are separate and distinct. The DMV deals only with the issue of license suspension, driving record, and interlock systems.
DMV hearings in Connecticut are referred to as “per se” hearings, and they are held at one of four Department of Motor Vehicles locations, Old Saybrook, Wethersfield, Waterbury, and Bridgeport. There are only four things that may be contested in a DMV per se hearing in order to prevent a DMV license suspension. Those are; (1) If the police had probable cause for arrest, (2) if the person was arrested, (3) if the person refused to submit to a breathalyzer or failed the breathalyzer, and (4) if the person was in fact driving. Unless you can challenge and win on one of these four things, the license suspension will stand.
DMV per se hearings and criminal court are different in many other ways as well. Department of Motor Vehicles hearings are in a much more relaxed setting than a courthouse, generally speaking. Further, these hearings are usually handled quickly because of the limited number of things that can be contested. It is important not to take these administrative hearings lightly, however. This is because these hearings may result in license suspension or interlock system requirements, which cost money and time. It is important to talk with a Milford DUI defense attorney. To get in touch with an attorney, contact Lady DUI.