Connecticut DUI Laws

Connecticut DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. Those under 21 must not exceed 0.02%.
Written by Michelle Ballestrasse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Connecticut DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. This threshold is lowered to 0.04% for commercial drivers and again to 0.02% for drivers under 21.
Each year, over 10,000 people in the US are killed on the road as a result of drunk driving crashes.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your
Connecticut car insurance
costs, too.
Here's everything you need to know about DUI laws in Connecticut.
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What is a DUI?

is considered driving under the influence while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. Each state defines the difference between the two in different ways.
A DUI could mean that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination. This does not mean specifically illegal substances and can include marijuana, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medicines. If taking these drugs impairs you in any way while driving, you may be charged with a DUI.
Some states use a different terminology altogether, instead favoring OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated).

DUI in Connecticut

In Connecticut, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of:
  • 0.08% or higher if you’re 21 or older
  • 0.02% if you’re under the age of 21
  • 0.04% or higher if you’re in any vehicle with a commercial driver’s license
Every state has an implied consent law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you’re lawfully arrested for a DUI, you must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. Connecticut drivers who refuse to do so are subject to longer
license suspensions
and even license revocation. You do not have a right to consult with a lawyer before completing the test.

Penalties for DUI in Connecticut

Penalties for DUIs are stiff in Connecticut and the conviction will remain on your driving record for 10 years.

First conviction

$500 to $1,000
2 days to 6 months
License suspension
1-year minimum
SR-22 requirement
Ignition Interlock Device Required
A first-time offender charged with a DUI may apply to the court to attend a Pretrial Alcohol Education Program. The offender must confirm under oath that they have not been in the program in the past ten years. The court will dismiss the DUI charges if the driver successfully finishes the program.

Subsequent convictions

If you are convicted of a DUI again, you’ll be subject to increased penalties. This includes larger fines, longer imprisonment and license suspension, and use of an ignition interlock device once your license is reinstated.
All offenders must complete a DMV-approved substance abuse treatment program before their full driver’s license will be restored. They also may be required to participate in a victim impact panel program as part of their sentence.
Key Takeaway Minimum penalties are increased for all subsequent convictions.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Connecticut?

Yes, insurance companies take DUIs very seriously, and you’ll be classified as a
high-risk driver
Shopping for car insurance is tedious at the best of times, but with a DUI on your
driving record,
it can be even harder. Carriers will either raise your rates by a substantial margin, or they may refuse to insure you at all. Your insurance company will also need to file an
on your behalf to confirm that you hold the state-mandated minimum insurance.
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Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, DUIs can have some other lasting impacts on your life.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked if you’re charged with other serious offenses.
Ignition interlock device: All states have some type of ignition interlock program, which requires drivers convicted of a DUI to install an interlock device in their vehicle to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Background checks: Your DUI will show up on a background check, even after it’s been removed from your driving record, which can cause issues for future employment endeavors.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

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