Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous for both the motorist who is doing so and for all those who are walking or driving in the vicinity. Because the stakes are so high, police officers are sometimes overzealous in finding and arresting offenders, and even innocent people could find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
If you are facing OUI charges in Connecticut, an OUI lawyer from Melocowsky & Melocowsky will aggressively defend your rights. Call 860-633-6356 to speak with a Hartford criminal defense attorney about your situation, and read on to learn the answers to four frequently asked questions about driving under the influence:
- When Can Connecticut Police Charge Me with OUI?
OUI stands for “operating under the influence.” This is a common criminal offense in Connecticut.
You could face OUI charges if a breathalyzer shows that your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or higher. As the Department of Motor Vehicles explains, drivers under the age of 21 could face OUI charges if their BAC is 0.02 or higher.
- Do I Have to Take the Sobriety Tests?
Although you will not face legal consequences for refusing field sobriety tests, Connecticut has an implied consent law, which states that when you get your driver’s license, you automatically consent to BAC tests in the form of blood, breath and urine tests. If you refuse to take a blood, breath or urine test, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license.
According to CT.gov, the license suspension typically begins 30 days after the arrest and is separate from any penalties that a judge imposes on the motorist. Defendants have seven days to request a hearing to appeal the license suspension. Your OUI lawyer can help you prepare for this hearing.
- What If I Do Not Schedule a DMV Hearing?
The DMV hearing is separate from your court appearance regarding the OUI charges. If you fail to schedule a DMV hearing before the deadline has passed, the state of Connecticut will suspend your driver’s license as stated in the notice that you received following the arrest.
- Are There Any Other Penalties for Refusing a Breath Test?
In addition to facing a license suspension, anyone who refuses a breath test at a traffic stop must install an ignition interlock device and pay for all the costs and fees associated with it. The mandatory duration of the IID depends on the individual’s age and criminal history, and ranges from six months to three years.
It is important to remember that even if police charge you with OUI, you still have rights, and a criminal defense attorney from Melocowsky & Melocowsky will protect those rights. Our lawyers have represented thousands of clients in drug cases, domestic assault cases, sexual assault cases, robbery and larceny cases, property claims, OUIs and homicide crimes. Call 860-633-6356 to schedule a consultation with a Hartford OUI lawyer.