DUI Laws 2017-11-07T16:19:02+00:00



Getting a DUI can complicate your life. Whether you have previous offenses, or this is your first experience with the Connecticut DUI system, there are many factors that you need to consider to understand your potential consequences and how to defend yourself against them. Here, you can learn about the criminal penalties that you face and Connecticut’s DUI laws.


First Time DUI Offense

The easiest way to understand your current DUI charge and consequences for this charge is by considering how many prior DUI offenses you have. Your options and consequences will change depending on the number of offenses that you have received.

If you are a first time DUI offender in the state of Connecticut, it means that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at or above .08% or that you could not operate your motor vehicle with the caution characteristic of a sober person under the same circumstance in the judgment of the police officer when he or she pulled you over. The consequences for this crime can include:

  • A fine of $500-$1,000.
  • A jail sentence of up to 6 months.  It is incredibly rare for people to be sentenced to jail on a first offense for DUI.  Some people try to scare clients into hiring them by talking about jail in their consultations, but it is incredibly rare. In the last 10 years, not a single client of ours has been sentenced to jail if this was their first DUI charge.
  • 1 year license suspension.  This license suspension will be served after a short period of a “hard suspension” and then a 1 year period of an Ignition Interlock Device.

One helpful aspect of being a first time DUI offender is having the option of using the alcohol education program (AEP). The AEP is an alternative to the penalties mentioned above. If you are eligible for this program, you can complete alcohol education classes as an alternative to a DUI conviction. This means that you will not have a DUI on your record, and you can avoid the jail time and fines associated with a first offender DUI conviction. In order to be eligible for the AEP, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Have no Connecticut DUI convictions.
  • Have no out-of-state DUI convictions.
  • Have not taken part in the AEP or an equivalent program in another state in the past 10 years.
  • Were not charged with additional crimes due to a serious accident that you caused at the time of your DUI.

The AEP is a possible solution to a bad DUI arrest, but it is possible to resolve cases without having to use the Alcohol Program.  Talking to an experienced DUI Attorney can help you make the decision on how to proceed with your case.

Second Time DUI Offense

If this is not your first DUI arrest, first we must determine if you have a prior conviction for DUI in Connecticut or another state OR if you simply have used the Alcohol Education program in the last 10 years.

If you have a prior conviction, you should jump down to the next section.

If you have used the Alcohol Education System in the last decade, you don’t have that available to you as an alternative resolution.  This is one reason why it is so important to retain experienced DUI counsel for every DUI offense, even a first one.  This way, you can be sure you investigate every option to resolve you case and leave the Alcohol Education Program available in situations like this.  If you do not have the program available, you are again facing the first offense penalties of

  • fine from $500-$1000
  • 6 Months maximum jail sentence.
  • 100 Hours of community service
  • Probation for up to 1 year.

Multiple DUI Offenses

If this is not your first time being arrested for DUI, you may have one or more convictions for DUI on your criminal history.  Depending on the number, the ramifications increase quickly.  Once you have a DUI conviction, you are facing felony charges of DUI.  Felony charges (and convictions) have serious dramatic lifelong consequences.  Felony records can eliminate certain types of loans, impact your credit score and certainly impacts employability.

If you receive a second DUI within 10 years of your first conviction, the penalties will increase. The consequences for a second offense DUI are:

  • $1,000-$4,000 fine.
  • A prison sentence of up to 2 years.
  • 3 year license suspension.

As a second time DUI offender, you will not have access to the Alcohol Education Program, which means that you will have to face the full consequences associated with this type of DUI.

An additional consequence that second time DUI offenders face is participation in the ignition interlock device program. An ignition interlock device is a device that is placed in cars, generally on the dashboard. This device is hooked up to your car’s engine, and you must blow into the device before driving it. If the device determines that your BAC is at a safe level for driving, the device will allow the car to start. If not, your car will not start, you will not be able to drive, and the authorities will be notified.

After the first year of your license suspension, your license can be restored, but only if you install an ignition interlock device in every vehicle that you operate for the remaining two years of the suspension. You are responsible for purchasing the ignition interlock device and paying for its upkeep. If it is found that you have driven a vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device, if you have tampered with your device, or if you have asked other people to blow into the device to start your car for you, you face additional penalties.

If you are facing a third or subsequent DUI offense in the state of Connecticut, the penalties will increase from your second offense. The penalties for a third time DUI offense include:

  • $2,000-$8,000 fine.
  • A prison sentence of up to 3 years, one year of which cannot be reduced or suspended.
  • Permanent revocation of your driver’s license.


These are the criminal penalties associated with first, second, and third DUI offenses in the state of Connecticut; however, you face separate consequences that the DMV can impose. To learn about these penalties, be sure to view our DMV hearing page. In order to defend yourself against the penalties listed above, it is in your best interest to consult with a DUI lawyer. For a free consultation in which you can do just this, you can contact our office here.