Lawyers are often asked, What is the difference between a DUI and DWI? There is absolutely no difference. DUI/DWI are terms of speech. DUI is driving under the influence, and DWI is Driving while intoxicated. Either reference means the same thing – suspended drivers license. Mandatory jail time. These are just a few of the consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction in Connecticut. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, you need an experienced, aggressive and reputable Waterbury DUI attorney on your side. You need the Bojka Law Offices.
Connecticut DUI laws are becoming stricter with each passing year. The level in Connecticut is .08 for first offenders. And for subsequent offenders it is .07. In Connecticut there are two ways to prove someone is DUI/DWI. The easiest way is by the breathalyzer results. The other way is the common law way. Whether someone can walk a straight line, stand on one leg, and pass the Nystagmus Test (the eye test). The consequences of DUI convictions, which range from losing your license to hefty fines and even jail time, are significant. Even more sobering is the possibility that your personal and professional reputation could be sullied with a permanent record of your DUI.
The recent crackdown on DUI cases is understandable alcohol contributes to a death every 33 minutes and costs the public billions each year in damages, loss of life and reduced productivity. First-time violators are treated just as harshly as repeat offenders, though penalties are increased with each violation. And associated charges, such as risk of injury to a minor, speeding, or stiff penalties concerning underage drinking, can increase the weight of a Connecticut drunk driving conviction.
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What are your options if you’ve been pulled over and accused of drunk driving in Connecticut? First, know your rights. You must be read your Miranda rights if arrested and will be subjected to a barrage of sobriety tests, including breath and/or blood tests. Although it is not a crime to refuse a breath test in Connecticut, a prosecutor is legally entitled to presume that the reason you refused is that you were intoxicated. They are even entitled to make this argument to a jury, and the judge will instruct a jury as to the law in this way. Though you should remain cooperative and surrender your license to the police when asked, you still have legal rights once you leave the police station.
There are two proceedings in Connecticut when someone is arrested for a DUI or DWI. The first is the criminal action in which the state will seek to punish someone for the offense. The second proceeding is what is referred to as the Per Se hearing. This is separate and apart from the criminal court proceedings. Within a week or two of your arrest, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles will send a letter (not certified, just regular mail) explaining that as a result of failing the breath test (chemical test) or refusing the breath test – chemical test. You will be losing your license for a definite period of time. You are entitle to appear and fight to keep your license at that hearing.
Time is of the essence. The letter from DMV is time sensitive – if you do not request a hearing within the time allowed, you lose your right to request a hearing in the future, and there is an automatic suspension of your license.
You should hire a DUI or DWI lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the law and can help construct a legal defense that will keep you on the road with your reputation intact.
How long will the DMV suspend my license?
If you have been arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and either failed a chemical alcohol analysis of your blood, breath, or urine or refused to submit to such analysis, your operator’s license or privilege is suspended effective 12:01 a.m. on the thirty-first day following the date of the arrest. A Notice of Suspension will be mailed to your address of record allowing seven days to request a hearing.
Before the final date to request a hearing noted on the suspension notice, you must call the Administrative Per Se Unit directly at 860-263-5204. That Unit can be contacted between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you have already scheduled a hearing and wish to request a continuance for good cause, you must contact the Administrative Per Se Unit directly at 860-263-5204. If you want to find out your requirements for restoration after suspension has already taken effect, please either write or call:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Driver Services Division
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161-2525
Note:The driver’s license suspension periods (or sanctions) are the latest update and will be imposed in addition to criminal penalties.
Interested with a free consultation with the experienced Connecticut DUI Defense Lawyer of the Bojka Law Offices? Help is just a free phone call away. Call us 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.