Connecticut DUI Survival Guide
(Commonly called Drunk Driving, DUI, DWI, OUI, OWI).


The Crime:  

Driving under the influence is the only crime for which an individual can be convicted solely on the opinion of a Police Officer. Over the years, the public perception of drunk driving has evolved. What the public once viewed as a common indiscretion is now viewed as a serious crime and public health hazard.  State Legislators in Connecticut and all over the country are engaged in a feeding frenzy of “feel good” legislation in response to pressures exerted by well-financed political interest groups. As a result, ordinary citizens, many of whom are not intoxicated or impaired at the time of driving, are being arrested and forced to defend against serious criminal charges. Given our current political climate, DUI is a serious criminal charge.

More people in this country are charged with DUI than any other criminal offense. In Connecticut approximately 10,000 people per year are arrested for DUI.       

Most people simply plead guilty, without vigorously defending against the allegations or going to trial to fight the charges. By pleading guilty, they give up their rights to have a trial before a jury, to confront their accusers, to refute the evidence against them, and to force the government to prove each element of every charge against them beyond a reasonable doubt.

In order to convict a person of DUI, the State of Connecticut must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was in violation of Connecticut General Statute 14-227a, which provides in relevant part “(a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both. A person commits the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both, if he operates a motor vehicle on a public highway of this state….(1) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or both or (2) while his ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person is (.08) eight -hundredths of one percent or more of alcohol by weight.”

 The Consequences:

A. Under current Connecticut criminal law, the driver arrested for DUI will receive both a summons and court date. If the court proceedings result in a conviction, the following penalties must be imposed:



First Offense

Second Offense

Third Offense


$500 - $1000

$1000 - $4000

$2000 - $8000


Up to 6 months (mandatory 48 hrs. or
100 hrs. community service).

Up to 2 years (mandatory 120 days)

Up to 3 years (mandatory 1 year)


45 days followed by 1 year with
Ignition Interlock Device (IID).

45 days followed by 3 years with
Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

Lifetime Revocation


  Restoration Requirements:
Suspension    $175.00 fee, plus $100 Ignition Interlock Device (IID) fee
Revocation   Same fees, completion of substance abuse treatment program; minimum 2 year waiting period; hearing before DMV hearing officer.

If you operate a motor vehicle while your privilege to operate is suspended for a DUI related offense, you face a minimum mandatory penalty of 30 days in jail to be served, as well as a monetary fine.


In addition to the ramifications that will be imposed upon a conviction of a DUI criminal charge, the motor vehicle department may administratively suspend your operating privilege upon your arrest for DUI and receipt of the police officer’s report. The suspension shall be effective as of a date certain, which shall be no later than thirty (30) days after you receive notice of your arrest and results of your test. If you refuse to submit to a blood, breath or urine test at the request of the police officer, or if the results of such test indicate that you had an elevated blood alcohol content, the DMV will suspend your motor vehicle license or operating privilege and, as a condition of restoring your license, require you to equip your car with an IID for a period of time. This may occur, even when you are not convicted of DUI.

You are, however, entitled to a hearing prior to the effective date of suspension, provided a hearing is requested no later than seven (7) days after the date of mailing of your suspension notice.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. When you are arrested for DUI, you must act quickly because of the significant legal and financial ramifications of being either charged with or convicted of the crime of DUI in Connecticut.

During my thirty years of representing individuals charged with DUI and other criminal charges, I know that every case is different. They are all in some way defensible. You may feel embarrassed and guilty for being arrested however, that does not mean that you are guilty of the crime or that you will necessarily lose your license. DUI has become one of the most complicated areas of the law and the entire process moves very quickly. You should act immediately to preserve your constitutional rights and protect yourself. The decision that you make now will impact your life forever.

Because the facts, law, and circumstances of every case vary, it is important for persons in need of a lawyer to meet individually with counsel to obtain specific advice. The information contained in this website is no substitute for individual consultation.

You may contact us at our office or through our email to discuss the possible defenses to your particular case.


           2002 Ronald F. Stevens  All Rights Reserved. All materials contained herein are for informational purposes only and should not take the place of consultation with a lawyer of your choice.




DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not to be construed as legal advice to or for any specific individual. Always seek the advice of counsel for specific legal problems.