When you are charged with a DUI in Connecticut, you are prosecuted by two different systems – Connecticut’s criminal system, and the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You will have hearings within both systems, and these hearings are entirely independent of one another. This means that a positive outcome in your criminal case will not guarantee a positive outcome in your DMV hearing, and vice versa.
The DMV has its own set of penalties for a person charged with a DUI. These penalties will be discussed in an administrative per se hearing in which you will have the opportunity to prove your innocence of the crime(s) that you have been charged with.
When you are arrested for a DUI, many different actions are put into motion. One such action is the police’s duty to contact the DMV and notify them of your DUI charge. The DMV will them mail you a letter notifying you of your potential license suspension through the DMV. It is important to note that the DMV suspension is separate from the suspension imposed by the criminal court. In order to fight this particular license suspension, you must attend the per se hearing that the DMV assigns for your case.
Many people feel that the DMV hearing is unwinnable. While it is difficult to prevent a DMV license suspension, due to the fact that the DMV will presume that you are guilty as opposed to innocent, it is not impossible! You should always seek to defend yourself at the DMV hearing. The best way to do this is by attending the hearing and having a DUI lawyer there to defend your situation. While this will not guarantee that you can avoid the DMV’s penalties, it puts you in a better position to do so.
Adults charged with a DUI face different degrees of penalties from the DMV based on the number of previous DUI convictions that they have and the circumstances of their arrests. The breakdown of license suspensions is as follows:
|ARREST / SUBMITTAL||SUSPENSION||IID PERIOD|
|FIRST: SUBMITTED TO THE TEST||45 DAYS||6 MONTHS|
|SECOND: SUBMITTED TO THE TEST||45 DAYS||1 YEAR|
|THIRD OR MORE: SUBMITTED TO THE TEST||45 DAYS||2 YEARS|
|FIRST: REFUSAL||45 DAYS||1 YEAR|
|SECOND: REFUSAL||45 DAYS||2 YEARS|
|THIRD OR MORE: REFUSAL||45 DAYS||3 YEARS|
Ignition Interlock Device
In some cases, a DMV license suspension will be followed by a time period where a driver must use an ignition interlock device. This program restores DUI offenders’ licenses on the condition that they install and use an ignition interlock device in their vehicle(s) for a certain period of time. An ignition interlock device is a device that requires a driver to breathe into the machine before the car can be started. If a driver’s BAC is above a certain level, the vehicle will not start, and the authorities will be notified. If the driver’s BAC is at an acceptable level for driving, the car’s engine will start and the driver may operate the vehicle. If a person who is involved in the ignition interlock device program is found tampering with the ignition interlock device or driving a vehicle where such a device is not installed, he or she will face additional penalties.
All people convicted of a DUI under the following circumstances are required to participate in the ignition interlock device program in the State of Connecticut:
- If you failed to provide a chemical test.
- If you failed a chemical test.
- If you have been convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI).
- If you have been convicted of vehicular manslaughter or vehicular assault in addition to your DUI conviction.
In order to fight a DMV license suspension, or to learn more about the ignition interlock device program, contact our office today.