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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Connecticut

This CT guide explains the law and penalties for DUI

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Connecticut

This CT guide explains the law and penalties for DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

Any amount of drugs or alcohol will affect your driving ability. Alcohol's effect is magnified by emotions, physical condition, use of prescription drugs or other types of drugs, some over-the-counter medications, and some herbal supplements.

 

Driving under the influence in CT

In Connecticut, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a criminal offense known as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), as well as OUI (Operating Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). This offense may be prosecuted with or without any direct evidence of a person's Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The determining factor is whether a person's ability to drive has been impaired.

 

Driving is a privilege. Under Connecticut's Implied Consent Law, any person who operates a motor vehicle is presumed to have given their permission to be tested to determine BAC.

  • You’re considered legally intoxicated if your BAC is .08 or above.
  • If you’re age 21 or younger, you’re considered legally intoxicated at a .02 BAC or higher.

If you’re arrested for DUI, OUI, or DWI:

  • You will be detained by the police and read your rights
  • Your vehicle will be towed at your expense
  • You will be transported to the police station in a police cruiser
  • If the test registers a BAC of .08 or higher, you will be held on the presumption that you were driving under the influence
  • You will be kept in a police lock-up until you are bailed out

Note: The terms OUI, DUI, and DWI all refer to both alcohol and drugs.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Two ways to lose your driver’s license

1.  Administrative Per Se through DMV for failing or refusing a chemical alcohol test

You can lose your driver's license for failing or refusing a chemical alcohol test. Here's what happens:

If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, the police send the arrest report to the DMV. Once we receive this report, we then impose a suspension of your driver’s license for either failing the blood, breath, or urine test, or for refusing a chemical alcohol test. 

This suspension is directed under the Connecticut General Statute §14-227b.

In most cases, the mandatory 45-day driver’s license suspension—during which you cannot drive—will begin 30 days after the arrest date. The license suspension is based on the arrest information. It is also separate from any penalties or requirements that may be imposed as a result of the court case.
 
A notice of your driver’s license suspension will be mailed to the address of record, allowing you seven days to request a hearing. If you wish to request a hearing, call the Administrative Per Se Unit at 860-263-5204 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday) before the deadline stated on your suspension notice. You may also contact the Administrative Per Se Unit to request a hearing by email at DMV.AdminPerse@ct.gov

 

Restore your driver’s license by installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

 

We require the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) prior to reinstatement for all alcohol-related suspensions. Following restoration, the IID must be maintained for according to the charts below:

 

IID requirement for drivers under age 21*

 

Blood Alcohol Level

First Offense 

 Second Offense

 Third or Subsequent Offense

 Test results of .02 or higher

 One year

 Two years

 Three years

 

IID requirement for drivers age 21 and older*

 

Blood Alcohol Level

First Offense 

Second Offense 

Third or Subsequent Offense 

 Test results of .08 or higher

Six months 

 One year

 Two years

 

IID requirement for all drivers*

 

Refusal of test

First Offense 

Second Offense

 

Third or Subsequent Offense

 

Refusal to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test

 One year

 Two years

 Three years

 

*An IID may be required for a longer term than the timeframes in the table above. This may occur if you are convicted in court for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs under Connecticut General Statute §14-227a, §14-227g, §14-227m, or§14-227n.

The IID is required for the duration specified in Connecticut General Statute §14-227b(i), §14-227a(g), §14-227m(c), or §14-227n(c) whichever is longer. See Section 2 below.

2. Court conviction for DUI (DWI/OUI)

 

The second way you can lose your license is if you are convicted in court for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Under Connecticut's criminal law, a driver arrested for DUI will receive both a summons and a court date. If the court proceedings result in a conviction, the following penalties (involving driver’s license suspension) must be imposed by the DMV. Review the dated timeframes below. 
 
For legal reference, see: Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Connecticut General Statute §14-227a, §14-227g, §14-227m, §14-227n*, or §14-111n
 

First 
conviction

 

45-day license suspension
If no other suspensions, eligible for restoration after the 45-day suspension regardless of whether the suspension for failing or refusing a chemical test for the same arrest has been fully served

Must install Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

IID required for one year following restoration

 

 Second
conviction

 

45 days license suspension, or until twenty-first birthday, whichever is longer
If no other suspensions, eligible for restoration after the 45-day suspension regardless of whether the suspension for failing or refusing a chemical test for the same arrest has been fully served

Must install Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

IID required for three years following restoration
During the first year of this three-year period, you may drive only to or from work, school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, an IID service center, or an appointment with a probation officer

 

 Third or subsequent conviction

Permanent revocation of license

Must wait at least two years from the date of revocation to request a hearing for reconsideration.

 

 

Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Connecticut General Statute §14-227a, §14-227g, or §14-111n

Conviction prior to January 1, 2012

 

  • Age 21 or older

First conviction

One-year license suspension 

 Second conviction

 One-year license suspension

 Third or subsequent conviction

 Permanent revocation of license
Must wait at least two years from the date of revocation to request a hearing for reconsideration

 

 

Manslaughter with a Motor Vehicle, Connecticut General Statute §53a-56b or §14-111n
Assault with a Motor Vehicle, Connecticut General Statute §53a-60d or §14-111n

 

First
Conviction

 

One-year license suspension
Must install Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

 

 Second
Conviction

 One-year license suspension
Must install Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

 

 Third or Subsequent Conviction

Permanent revocation of license
Must wait at least two years from the date of revocation to request a hearing for reconsideration

 

 

Driving Under the Influence - Defining first, second, third offense Etc.

Defining First, Second, Third/Subsequent Offense

Connecticut General Statutes §14-111n, §14-227a, §14-227g, §14-227m,§14-227n,  §53a-56b or §53a-60d are considered to determine if a conviction is a first, second, or third/subsequent offense for any and all convictions reported.

Additional information

How do I contact DMV for more information?

For information concerning restoration or IID requirements, you may write or call:
 
Email: 
dmv.suspension@ct.gov

 

Mailing Address: 
Department of Motor Vehicles
Driver Services Division
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT  06161-1013

Phone:  
860-263-5720