DMV Process

In the state of Connecticut, the only way to challenge a driver's license suspension imposed by the DMV after a DUI arrest is to request a per se hearing with the DMV. At this hearing, you can challenge four elements of your situation in an effort to overturn this license suspension. Learn more on this page.


In Connecticut, there are two distinct aspects to the situation of a DUI. There is the criminal aspect of the case and the New Haven DMV aspect. These are two separate processes, but you can have a DUI defense lawyer help you with both processes. The criminal aspect of the case is handled by the criminal courts. It will determine if you broke the law and what penalties are appropriate if that is the case. The DMV aspect refers to your driver’s license. Since the DMV gives licenses in Connecticut, it can also take them away. You can learn more about the DMV process if you have gotten a New Haven DUI.

In Connecticut, there is an implied consent law. This law means that anyone driving a vehicle on a public road has explicitly agreed to take part in a blood alcohol content (BAC) if requested to do so by the police. Refusal or failure of a BAC test results in a DMV license suspension. Once someone refuses or fails a BAC test, meaning they blew over a .08%, the DMV will be notified, and they will send notice to the driver that their license is suspended.

Typically the suspension will start 30 days after notifying the driver for first offenses and immediately for subsequent offenses. This notice is also important because it begins the clock on the time allowed for the person to contest this decision at a DMV administrative hearing. The time that a person has to contest their driver’s license suspension is typically seven days. These administrative hearings are called “per se” hearings, and they take place in Bridgeport, Old Saybrook, Waterbury, and Wethersfield.

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New Haven DMV Per Se Hearings

The New Haven DMV is responsible for license suspensions, driving history, and ignition interlock device requirements. These hearings are held in a much less rigid atmosphere than a courthouse. Due to the limited number of issues that are arguable in this hearing, primarily a refusal or failure of the BAC test, these hearings generally go pretty quickly. A refusal to take or a failure of a BAC test is a “per se” violation, meaning, the license will be suspended unless the DMV hearing officer finds that there was not adequate probable cause, there was not an actual refusal or failure, there was not an actual arrest, or the person who was charged with the DUI was not in fact driving.

Although the New Haven DMV hearing is typically less frightening to defendants than going to court and results in only a license suspension that will lapse at the stated time, this could have a large impact on the lifestyle and economics of a person. If there is a possible defense, a New Haven DUI defense attorney who has worked with DMV hearings before should be able to find it. To speak with an attorney who has dealt with New Haven DMV administrative hearings, contact Lady DUI.

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