Getting a third or subsequent Connecticut DUI can have serious implications for your freedom and also for your ability to drive. Your license will likely be revoked after a third or subsequent offense. However, there is a possibility of restoring the license after a certain period of time has elapsed. Learn more about this process on this page.


The leniency that is applied to most first-offense and even some second-offense DUI cases is not offered by the prosecutors or judges for third-offense DUIs. The fines, jail time, and license suspensions can be much more severe. 3rd DUIs are DUI charges where the defendant has two prior DUI convictions in the last 10 years in any state. Although prosecutors and judges have a large amount of discretion to determine the penalties of a plea deal or sentencing after conviction, the defendant could face permanent revocation of their driver’s license and many other serious consequences. Learn more about them on this page.

3rd DUI License Issues

C.G.S. §14-227a(g) states, “for conviction of a third and subsequent violation within ten years after a prior conviction of the same offense… have such person’s motor vehicle operator’s license or nonresident operating privilege permanently revoked upon such third offense.”

License revocation is a very severe penalty that a third or subsequent DUI offender faces and can greatly interfere with a person’s ability to drive to work, school, drive their children, and have a social life. License revocation can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life. However, even after a “permanent” license revocation, the defendant may still have the opportunity to request a hearing to try and convince the DMV hearing officer that their license should be reinstated.

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Restoring a License

If part of the plea deal or the sentencing penalties includes a permanent license revocation, the defendant will have the opportunity to request a hearing after two years from the date of the revocation. At the hearing, if you can show good cause, the commissioner has the authority to reinstate the license.

The restoration hearing must be requested by the defendant. There is no notice sent out to the individual letting them know that they have reached the period of time where a restoration hearing can be requested.

Before being granted a hearing, the defendant must submit to a background check, and that background check must not show any alcohol or drug-related convictions in the two years of license revocation.

The defendant must also voluntarily attend a substance abuse treatment program and prove completion upon applying for the hearing. The defendant may also need to take a driver retraining course required by the DMV. This type of hearing, unlike a trial, allows evidence not subject to the rules of evidence, so character evidence is admissible, and the defense attorney or defendant can make an argument to convince the DMV officer that the defendant is a good candidate for license restoration.

Following this hearing, the DMV officer will make a decision and will notify the defendant and defense attorney of that decision. If the DMV reinstates the defendant’s license after the hearing, the defendant will then be permitted to drive, but only with an IID. After another 15 years of driving with the ignition interlock device, the defendant can then file a petition with the DMV to get the IID removed.

Although a license revocation is a steep penalty, the Connecticut legislature has taken a firm stance on the penalties for third and subsequent DUI offenders. Connecticut is one of the strictest states when it comes to DUI penalties. Though incredibly frustrating and stressful, it is never recommended that a person drive while under a license suspension because it can result in much higher penalties like more jail time and higher fines.

If you have further questions about 3rd DUI license suspensions, contact our office.

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