Your loved one has come home with bad news – they got a DUI. Whether you thought that your loved one might have an issue with alcohol, or you were blindsided by this event, now is the time to take steps to get through this. Now is the time to offer your support and learn about the DUI process. Knowing what your family is up against can help you get through this experience. Here are six things to know to help them through this experience.
1: Get Help for an Alcohol Issue
While not everyone who gets a DUI has a problem with alcohol, many do. If your spouse has gotten multiple DUIs, this might be an indication that they need to cut down on or cut out drinking.
If you are not sure if your loved one has a drinking problem, check out our other article: spouse. This will provide measures that you can take to get your loved one help.
2: Implied Consent
Connecticut uses something called “implied consent” when it comes to driving in the state. Basically, whenever a person drives in Connecticut, they give implied consent to be tested for driving under the influence. Refusal to do so results in a violation of the implied consent law, and can mean an additional license suspension. However, a good lawyer can argue to have this suspension reduced or waived altogether.
3: Understand the DUI Process
There are several elements of DUI that you should understand as your spouse goes through this process.
If this is your loved one’s first DUI offense in Connecticut, they face jail time, a fine, and a license suspension. They face either up to six months in jail or 100 community service hours, a fine of $500-1,000, and a 45 day license suspension followed by driving for one year with an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
First time offenders can take advantage of the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program. If an offender is accepted into the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program, a judge will waive the DUI charges. You can discuss the Pretrial Alcohol Education Program’s benefits and drawbacks with an attorney.
A second time DUI offender faces the following penalties:
- Up to two years in prison
- 100 hours of community service
- Fine of $1,000-4,000
- 45 day license suspension
- 3 years using ignition interlock device on vehicle
A third or subsequent offender faces these penalties:
- Up to three years in prison
- $2,000-8,000 fine
- Revocation of license, with eligibility for reinstatement after two years.
As you can see, the penalties become much more severe for multiple DUI offenders. If your loved one finds themselves in this position, it is important to seek help for them.
4: Criminal vs. DMV Process
One element of the DUI that you should understand is that your loved one faces two different processes. They face the criminal process through the court system, the consequences of which are listed above, and they face a DMV process.
This is because the DMV is in charge of the privilege of driving. When reckless driving occurs, such as in the case of a DUI, the DMV can impose consequences at their discretion.
This means that the DMV can impose an additional license suspension on your spouse, or revoke their license altogether. And get this: they can impact your loved one’s license even if they are found not guilty of a DUI. This is because the DMV is not under the stringent burdens of proof that a court of law is. They can make decisions about a person’s driving abilities at their discretion.
5: DCF Might Get Involved
If your spouse was arrested with your children in the car, the Department of Child and Family Services will likely get involved. Even if your children were not injured, your spouse’s actions were reckless and put your kids at risk. As a result, DCF may investigate the situation to make sure that your children have a stable and safe home life.
6: Find an Attorney
Dealing with a Connecticut DUI is not something to take lightly, especially if DCF is involved. It is a good idea to contact an attorney to assist with this process. This is especially the case if your spouse faces multiple DUIs and more severe penalties.
For more information about the Connecticut DUI and DUI representation, contact our office. We are happy to help.