Waterbury DUI Lawyer
What Constitutes Driving Under the Influence?
In Connecticut, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or higher. For drivers under the age of 21, the BAC limit is .02%. A driver’s BAC can be measured with a:
- Breath test (most common method of testing is an electronic Breathalyzer)
- Urine test
- Blood test
If a person is found with a BAC above the legal limit, there is no further evidence required to support a DUI conviction. Due to Connecticut’s implied consent law, if an individual refuses to provide a sample to law enforcement upon request, it can result in license suspension.
At the Law Offices of Michael T. Barrett, we have more than a decade of experience delivering strategic legal representation to help our clients get their charges reduced or even dismissed altogether.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Connecticut?
The penalties an individual could face for a DUI charge depend upon a couple of different factors. The first factor considered is the number of previous offenses.
The penalties for first-time and repeat offenders include:
- First DUI violation: a maximum of six months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines
- Second DUI violation: a maximum of two years in prison and up to $4,000 in fines
- Third DUI violation: a maximum of three years in prison and up to $8,000 in fines
The second factor that plays into how DUI crimes are penalized is whether the drunk driving caused an accident, property damage, or injuries or death to another. If this is the case, the above penalties may be increased.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, drivers may experience additional consequences, including:
- Suspension or revocation of a driver’s license
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Probation requiring 100 hours of community service
- Completion of a drug abuse assessment and treatment program
Why You Must Hire a Connecticut DUI Lawyer
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, it's important to hire an experienced Connecticut DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will be your advocate throughout the proceedings and help protect your rights. They may also be able to negotiate for lesser penalties or take other steps to minimize the consequences of your DUI charge and help you avoid serving any time behind bars.
Your lawyer will review the details of your case, including any breathalyzer or field sobriety tests that were administered. They may also be able to challenge the results of any chemical tests and present evidence in your favor if necessary. A Connecticut DUI attorney will understand all applicable laws regarding drinking and driving and help you navigate the legal process.
What Are Some Common DUI Defense Strategies?
Many individuals who have been charged with DUI think that they have no way to avoid a conviction, but this is not true. While every case has unique circumstances there are some common strategies that can be used to defend your rights and protect your future.
Some common DUI defenses include:
- Challenging Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests, such as the "walk and turn," are not always accurate, yet the results of these tests are used by police to establish a need for further DUI testing. The results of these tests could be affected by poor instruction, physical limitations, nervousness, etc.
- Lack of Probable Cause: In order for an arrest to be legal, the arresting officer must have probably cause to make a traffic stop. If a driver is pulled over without probable cause any subsequent evidence could be considered inadmissible in court.
Challenging the Breath Test Results: Breathalyzer tests can render inaccurate results based on a variety of
- The test was administered incorrectly
- The machine had not been serviced recently
- The driver could have recently used an alcohol based substance such as mouthwash
- The driver could have some sort of physiological condition that could cause the machine to register a false positive
- Challenging the Arresting Officer's Observations: During a traffic stop, the officer will be looking for any potential symptoms of intoxication. This could include things such slurred speech, red eyes, or the smell of alcohol. However, there could be valid explanations for such symptoms such as lack of sleep, an existing medical condition, illness, allergies, etc.
Serving Clients Throughout New Haven, Hartford & Litchfield Counties
If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, turn to the Law Offices of Michael T. Barrett. Our Waterbury DUI lawyer can help you understand your legal options and then go to work protecting your rights and freedom.
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