What happens when I get a DUI in Connecticut?

Two things: one, you have to go to the Connecticut Superior Court in the geographic area where you were arrested and defend the DUI charge in court. Two, you will receive a suspension notice from the DMV and you have to schedule a hearing challenging the suspension.

What happens if I do not schedule a DMV hearing?

Your Connecticut driver’s license or privilege to drive in Connecticut will be suspended as stated in the suspension notice.

What happens when I schedule the DMV hearing?

You will receive written notification of the date and time to be present for your DMV hearing. This is called the Administrative Per Se hearing. On that date and time, you will meet with a DMV hearing officer. These hearing officers are attorneys engaged in private practice, who represent the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. They are highly skilled in this area of the law. You will put on your case at this administrative hearing, in an attempt, to have your license restored.

If I win at the Administrative Per Se Hearing, do the court charges go away?

No. One has nothing to do with the other. The courts have ruled on this. There is no double jeopardy. The DMV matter is an administrative matter while the court matter is a criminal matter.

If I suffer a license suspension either from the DMV, the court or both, how can I get to work?

You may be entitled to a Special Driving Permit for this purpose. However, if you have a previous alcohol related suspension, you may not qualify. You fill out the proper form and submit it to DMV Driver Services Division. They will review your driver history and determine if you are eligible.

Doesn’t the DMV or the court care about me supporting my family if I cannot drive or am in jail?

It isn’t that these people do not care. They are enforcing the laws passed by the Connecticut legislature and doing what they have to do. Remember, the legislature passes the laws that judges, prosecutors and the police have to enforce. We have to live within the rule of law. Sometimes, we may all agree that the penalties are too stiff, but that is as far as it goes.

If I disagree with the Administrative Per Se Hearing decision, do I have the right to appeal it?

Yes. Find out more information on appealing the administrative hearing by contacting us.

What is the legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol in Connecticut?

The legal limit under Connecticut DUI law is .08 BAC (blood alcohol content). Connecticut laws establish that to operate while under the influence (OWI) with a BAC of .08 or higher is “per se” against the law. Simply driving while your blood has over .08% alcohol is illegal.

Does Connecticut have additional penalties for DUI/DWI charges with a high BAC result?

No. Unlike other states, there is no “aggravated DUI” charge in Connecticut.

What are the laws for a DUI in Connecticut if you are under 21 years of age?

If you are under 21, Connecticut has what is called a zero tolerance policy for driving after drinking alcohol. The legal limit for alcohol is .02 BAC, which can be as little as one drink. If you are charged with a DUI, your license will be immediately suspended for 90 days for a first offense.

What is the Alcohol Education Program (AEP)?

This is a diversionary program that results in the criminal drunk driving charge being dismissed provided you qualify for the program and complete the course you are offered. There is an application fee of $200. The court, if you qualify, will order you to take either 10 or 15 sessions of this educational program. The added cost for the 10 session program is $350 and for the 15 sessions it is $500.

How do I qualify for the AEP program?

You make the application to the court. You will be placed under oath, by the clerk, and the judge will ask you several questions. If you answer that you have never been convicted of the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in Connecticut, or any other state, and you have not had the AEP in Connecticut or any other state within the past 10 years, you are qualified. Then the Adult Probation Department will check your criminal and driver history to verify the accuracy of your answers.

Remember, when you respond to the judge’s questions you are answering under the penalty of perjury. Some attorneys will tell you that if your conviction for a drunk driving offense is over 10 years old, that you qualify for the AEP program. This is not accurate. If you have a conviction for drunk driving, then you do not qualify for the AEP.

What happens when I complete the AEP program?

Your case is dismissed one year after the judge granted your application for the AEP program and provided you completed it successfully.

What happens if I do not complete the AEP program?

The simple answer is that you will be brought back into court, and at that point, the judge can order you treated as a first offender, which means that you are facing jail, fine and probation, along with a lost of license for one year. It is your responsibility to complete the course. However, in some instances and for good cause shown, the court may re-instate you into the AEP and give you a certain amount of time to complete it. Remember, when you go on this program, document all that you do, in case a problem arises such as missing a class or having a falling out with the program director or the teacher. When there is a problem, you should contact your lawyer.

When I get placed on the AEP program and my case is dismissed, do I have a drunk driving conviction on my record?

No. However, while you have no conviction, your driver history at the DMV will reflect the AEP program.

What happens if I get caught driving while my license is suspended/revoked?

Driving while your license is suspended should be avoided as it is a new crime. If you drive while your license is suspended for a DUI conviction, you will face a fine ranging from $500 – $1,000 and jail time of 30 days or more. The amount of jail time imposed varies depending on if you have prior DUI convictions.

What is the difference between a DUI, DWI, OUI, OWI, DWUI etc.?

These terms are all acronyms that refer to the offense commonly known as “drunk driving.” Different states have different names for the crime. For example, in New York and New Jersey the charge is known as DWI. Massachusetts calls is OUI. Connecticut law uses the term driving/operating under the influence or DUI.

Is a DUI in Connecticut a misdemeanor or felony charge?

In Connecticut, a DUI is usually a misdemeanor crime. However, if you have one prior DUI convictions in the past 10 years the second or greater DUI conviction is a felony offense.

Will my defense lawyer be able to plea bargain/negotiate my Connecticut DUI charge down to another (lesser) offense?

Possibly. Plea bargaining and charge reduction are two areas that any experienced Connecticut DUI lawyer would discuss with the prosecutor on the client’s behalf. The DUI statute specifically states that a prosecutor cannot reduce or nolle a DUI case without a statement on the record as to the reasons for such.

I am licensed to drive in a state other than Connecticut and I was cited for a DUI in Connecticut. Will my driver license be suspended?

Connecticut only has the authority to suspend your right to drive in the state of Connecticut. However, Connecticut and 44 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted an agreement known as the “Driver License Compact.” Connecticut will report a DUI conviction to the home state of the driver (assuming the home state has also adopted the compact). Your home state will then generally take action to suspend your license.

This also works in reverse. If you are a Connecticut licensed driver and you are convicted of a DUI charge in another state, Connecticut will suspend your license if it learns of the conviction.

Will I have to install an ignition interlock device on my car?

A ignition interlock device (IID) is a breath alcohol measurement device that is connected to a motor vehicle ignition. In order to start the motor vehicle, a driver must blow a breath sample into the device which then measures alcohol concentration. If the alcohol concentration exceeds the startup set point on the interlock device, the motor vehicle will not start.

If you have your license suspended for a second DUI conviction within the past 10 years, you may be able to get your license restored to you by installing an IID for 24 months. To be eligible, you must first serve one year of the required license suspension. You may then apply for the ability to drive only with an IID. Contact your Connecticut lawyer to see if you may be eligible for an IID license. Note: If you don’t install an ignition interlock following your second DUI conviction, your license will be effectively suspended for at least three years.

What will a Connecticut DUI do to my car insurance?

If your insurance company finds out about your DUI one of two things are likely to happen. Either your Connecticut insurer will raise your rates or you may be cancelled or non-renewed.

I missed my Connecticut court appearance. What do I do now?

At a minimum, the Connecticut court typically issues a warrant for your arrest (known as a bench warrant). Talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Often, your only option is to turn yourself in on the outstanding warrant. A new court date will then be scheduled.

If I’m stopped by a police officer and they ask me if I’ve been drinking, what should I say?

You are not required to answer potentially incriminating questions. A polite, “I would like to speak with an attorney before I answer any questions” is a good reply. On the other hand, saying that you had one or two beers is not incriminating: it is not sufficient to cause intoxication — and it may explain the odor of alcohol on the breath.

Do I have a right to an attorney when I’m stopped by an officer and asked to take a field sobriety test?

There is no right to an attorney until you have submitted to (or refused) blood, breath or urine testing. In Connecticut, there is a right to consult with counsel upon being arrested or before deciding whether to submit to chemical testing.

What should I do if I’m asked to take field sobriety tests?

There are a wide range of field sobriety tests (FSTs), including heel-to-toe, finger-to-nose, one-leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus, alphabet recitation, modified position of attention (Rhomberg), fingers-to-thumb, hand pat, etc. Most officers will use a set battery of three to five such tests. Unlike the chemical test, where refusal to submit may have serious consequences, you are not legally required to take any FSTs. The reality is that officers have usually made up their minds to arrest when they give the FSTs; the tests are simply additional evidence which the suspect inevitably “fails”. Thus, in most cases a polite refusal may be appropriate.

Why did the officer make me follow a penlight with my eyes to the left and right?

This is the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” test, a relatively recent development in DUI investigation. The officer attempts to estimate the angle at which the eye begins to jerk (“nystagmus” is medical jargon for a distinctive eye oscillation); if this occurs sooner than 45 degrees, it theoretically indicates a blood-alcohol concentration over .05%. The smoothness of the eye’s tracking the penlight (or finger or pencil) is also a factor, as is the type of jerking when the eye is as far to the side as it can go.

This field sobriety test has proven to be subject to a number of different problems, not the least of which is the non-medically trained officer’s ability to recognize nystagmus and estimate the angle of onset. Because of this, and the fact that the test is not accepted by the medical community, it is not admissible as evidence in many states; it continues, however, to be widely used by law enforcement.

Should I agree to take a chemical test? What happens if I don’t?

The consequences of refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test are severe. In Connecticut, if you refuse a test when asked your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months.

The officer never gave me a “Miranda” warning: Can I get my case dismissed?

No. The officer is supposed to give a Fifth Amendment warning after they arrest you. Often, however, they do not. The only consequence is that the prosecution cannot use any of your answers to questions asked by the police after the arrest. Of more consequence in most cases is the failure to advise you of the state’s “implied consent” law – that is, your legal obligation to take a chemical test and the results if you refuse. This can effect the suspension of your license.

Jay Ruane and his team at Ruane Attorneys will blow you away with their ability to do one thing really well: WIN your Car Accident or Personal Injury case. But they will also make sure you are always greeted with a warm smile, cared for like family and have all your questions answered, so you are always being considered, each step of the way. If you need an amazing lawyer and law firm in Connecticut for your accident case, and if you want to be victorious, call Jay and get him to represent you. You’ll thank me for it.
Ramesh Reddy
Ramesh Reddy
06:46 08 Mar 18
Jay and his staff are excellent. He is an authority on all things DUI and then some. I trust him with any legal situation.
Ioannis Kaloidis
Ioannis Kaloidis
01:31 08 Mar 18
Attorney Lebedevitch was able to have the prosecutor nolle my speeding ticket, excellent outcome . Would highly recommend him for representation, thanks again.
Ur Ch
Ur Ch
03:14 27 Feb 18
I brought my son here to take care of his issue. From the start, you could see it was a well run organization. We met with Attorney Ruane who walked us through the process and their fee structure. Everything progressed exactly as we were told that first day. We were charged not a penny more than we were quoted even though we had to go back and forth to court several times. I even ask Attorney Ruane to help me with another minor issue but coming from an Attorney meant a whole lot more. He was more than happy to help and refused to charge extra. I would recommend Attorney Ruane’s firm without question.
Mj F
Mj F
01:24 26 Jan 18
Great office and great service . Attorney Daniel is the best he can get everything done for you. Highly recommended
Omar Baradhi
Omar Baradhi
15:39 18 Dec 17
Ashley was extremely helpful. She answered all of my questions and held my hand through the entire process. My traffic infraction was thrown out thanks to their hard work. These guys know the ropes, if you get a ticket in a small rural town in Connecticut, go to Jay.
Michael Carrigy
Michael Carrigy
03:13 23 Nov 17
5 Stars Plus! Jay Ruane is the best person around! Jay is not about making money but definitely about making you happy and satisfied! Easy to speak with and willing to explain everything to you and repeat it until you fully understand all details. Jay will find you answers ASAP! His team is amazing, always willing to help! They will never a receive complain from me! No job or problem is too small for the Ruane to assist you! Thank you all for the wonderful experience!
Michele Esteves DeBille
Michele Esteves DeBille
18:48 08 Nov 17
James Ruane is an honest, ethical, top rated attorney. He will tell you the way it is without sugar coating the facts. James has been our family attorney for years. He will always be our support for any legal issue.
Lisa B
Lisa B
14:48 07 Nov 17
I called the other day and spoke to Ashley (Hongo) Barnash. She was able to help with some recommendations of what I should do and managed to schedule me an appointment as soon as possible to meet with a lawyer. They’re great!
Andrew Galanis
Andrew Galanis
00:12 29 Oct 17
Extremely accomodating with my busy schedule, Ruane Attorneys handled my case in best possible way with positive outcome for fairly minimal monetary expense from my side. I would give my highest recommendation to this firm. Thank you for your service. TC
Tamta Chkhikvadze
Tamta Chkhikvadze
15:50 18 Oct 17
I used the Ruane group 2 times now. Both times ended with a very positive outcome. Great team, and very reasonably priced. They had great relationships in the courts which Im sure also helped contribute to the positive results. I’d like to think I wont need their services in the future, but I do have them saved in my favorites should the situation arise.
14:14 31 Aug 17
After striking out with my own research, I contacted Jay Ruane at Ruane Attorneys with a question that both of us knew would not result in his getting any direct business from me. Not only did Jay respond to my query, he diligently researched the matter and quickly came back with professional guidance and a direct intro to the appropriate person to help me out. It’s this level of both support and compassion that sets Ruane Attorneys head and shoulders above their competitors. I’d highly recommend them.
RIch K
RIch K
21:48 30 Aug 17
Thank you for being my attorney as part of my defense in the traffic speeding violation, you have really helped me to make the Summons in the state of Connecticut been disposed. I’m so pleased with the work you did and with the settlement. You have been such a great attorney, I recommend you , how one of the best lawyer . Alfredo GuirolaBrooklyn, New York
12:40 24 Aug 17
I highly recommend Ruane Attorneys At Law. I had received a citation for a moving violation. I was driving a CDL Class A commercial vehicle at the time so my job was at risk as well as my license. With their professionalism & experience they were more than capable of coming into good terms between us and the court system. ?
Tommy Calderon
Tommy Calderon
17:28 10 Aug 17
My husband asked me to post the following: Thank you to the entire team at Ruane Attorneys!  When I first beganthe process of going to court to address a DUI arrest, I tried tospeak for myself without hiring an attorney.  Big mistake.  Afterseveral weeks of continuances, I finally called Ruane Attorneys.  I amso glad that I did.  In addition to the attorney that accompanied meto court, the entire team at Ruane Attorneys helped me to overcome mynerves and fears.  They were professional and friendly.  Theirattention to detail and strong leadership helped to resolve my case.I never felt like I was just another client.  Their level of actuallycaring for me and my situation was greatly appreciated.  I have, andwill continue to recommend them to my friends who may find themselvesin need of a great law firm.”  — Tom
Audie Hollister
Audie Hollister
21:09 28 Jul 17
I decided to seek an attorney to assist me with my pardon application. I did a little research and my heart led me to the Office of Ruane Attorney at law. So, as I was parked in the parking lot awaiting to pick up my next client I decided to give them a call. And I must say I am so glad I did. I spoke with Ms. Krista for a little while and I knew I did the right thing because After our conversation, I cried for about 15 minutes (while sitting in the car). I was treated with so much compassion and respect that I knew this firm is truly dedicated and committed in assisting me in this very important endeavor. Not only that, a couple of weeks later they told me that they would even knock off a couple of hundred dollars from my fee. I am truly grateful and appreciative for this gesture. This office truly cares about their clients. I know I can count on them every step of the way. Thank you Jesus for being there for me and for Ruane Attorney.
Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper
22:19 14 Jul 17
Attorney Ruane and staff were great. They had the experience and knowledge to get me through this process smoothly. I cant image having better team to handle this matter on my behalf. Thank you for all you done for me.
Ronnie K Lowery
Ronnie K Lowery
17:53 26 Jun 17
Copyright 2015 MrSpeedingTicket.com & Ruane Attorneys | All Rights Reserved | Mr. Speeding Ticket™ is a trademark of Different Middle Initial, LLC and used with permission. In Connecticut, Attorney James Ruane is responsible for this advertisement | Privacy Policy | Not a Specialization