DUI Laws in Connecticut

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Here's what you need to know...
  • You can receive a DUI conviction in Connecticut if your blood alcohol level is .08 or higher
  • There are many penalties for driving under the influence, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time
  • If you have been convicted of a DUI, your current insurance carrier may choose to drop your coverage


In Connecticut, you can be charged with a DUI and breaking Connecticut DUI insurance laws when your BAC is .08 or more. This is usually considered a misdemeanor, though subsequent offenses and higher BACs may qualify as more serious, and thus have harsher penalties.

You should learn the basic Connecticut DUI laws and typical penalties if you face this kind of charge.

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Connecticut DUI Requirements

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Whether you are driving on the street or parked on the side of the road, if you are behind the wheel of a car and your BAC is .08 or higher, you will be charged with a DUI according to DUI laws.

If you assume you can get away with driving under the influence by refusing to take the breathalyzer test, the implied consent law makes this impossible.

Implied consent means that just by driving in Connecticut, you agree to provide a sample of urine, blood, or your breath to determine whether you have been drinking.

So you can refuse to submit to the breathalyzer, but the consequence is that your driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months, even if it turns out you have not been drinking.

You will have to submit to a blood test anyway, so if your BAC is .08 or more, you will get a DUI in addition to license suspension.

Connecticut DUI Laws

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While most drivers get in legal trouble for having a BAC of .08 or more, some drivers are held to different standards based on age or occupation. For example:

  • Commercial drivers get a DUI in Connecticut when they have a BAC of .04 or higher.
  • Minors under age 21 get a DUI when they have a BAC of .02 or higher.

An additional fact to know about Connecticut DUI insurance laws is that this state is part of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact.

This means that the authorities in Connecticut will let your home state know if you get a DUI while visiting, so you cannot simply get out of the penalties just because you were caught driving under the influence while on vacation.

The actions that your home state will take can vary, but one example is that your driver’s license will be suspended in all states participating in this compact so you cannot legally drive in those areas until it is reinstated.

Connecticut DUI Penalties

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The penalties vary depending on both the number of times you have been arrested for this crime and how high your blood alcohol concentration is.

First Offense:

  • Jail time for 48 hours to 6 months
  • Fine of $500-1000
  • Driver’s license suspension for 1 year, after completion of alcohol treatment program
  • Car impounded for 48 hours
  • 100 hours of community service may be substituted for jail time

Second Offense:

  • Jail time for 120 days to 2 years
  • Fine of $1000-4000
  • Driver’s license suspension for 1 year, after completion of alcohol treatment program
  • Car impounded for 48 hours
  • 100 hours of community service
  • Ignition interlock device required for 2 years once license is reinstated

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Third Offense:
  • Jail time for 1 to 3 years
  • Fine of $2000-8000
  • Driver’s license permanently revoked
  • Car impounded for 48 hours
  • 100 hours of community service
  • This is a felony if this is your third DUI in 10 years
  • Drivers can apply to get license back 6 years after conviction, but must first complete an alcohol treatment program and use an ignition interlock device for 10 years

Driving After a DUI in Connecticut

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You might be eligible for a conditional permit that lets you legally drive to work or school while your license is suspended.

If you are caught using this permit to go anywhere else, or if you get a traffic ticket while driving on the permit, it will likely be taken away.

Your DUI penalties may also be increased when you get in trouble with the law while using the permit. The following people are not usually eligible for the Special Operator’s Permit to drive to work:

  • Drivers operating a commercial vehicle
  • Those with multiple DUI convictions

If you want a chance to keep your driver’s license after a DUI in Connecticut, you need to appeal the charge within 7 days.

You should contact a lawyer soon after your arrest, as you will have a chance to present evidence to a judge that supports your claim that you were not driving drunk. If you do not appeal the charge, your license will be suspended about 35 days after you are arrested for the DUI.

If you are caught driving on a suspended license after a DUI, you may get 30 days in jail, plus a fine that ranges from $500 to $1,000.

The penalties could be worse if you have multiple DUIs on your driving record. These consequences are in addition to your DUI penalties.

Connecticut DUI Statistics

According to accident studies performed in 2014, Connecticut had 99 fatalities related to DUIs within one year.

About 44% of traffic fatalities involved a DUI. Over 15,000 residents of this state had 3 or more DUIs, while more than 2,700 people had 5 or more DUIs.

Connecticut DUI Insurance Options

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Getting a DUI in this state has many consequences, with the following being the most common insurance-related issues you will encounter:

  • Your car insurance provider may raise your rates.
  • Your policy may be canceled immediately.
  • Your policy may be non-renewed when the current period ends.

Most states, including Connecticut, require you to get an SR-22 certificate. This is a form that shows you have liability insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements. The minimum liability coverage in this state is as follows:

  • $20,000 of bodily injury liability for each person involved in the accident
  • $40,000 of bodily injury liability when at least 2 people are in one accident
  • $10,000 of property damage liability
  • $20,000 of uninsured motorists bodily injury
  • $40,000 of underinsured motorists bodily injury

Not every insurance provider offers SR-22 insurance, so you may have trouble finding and comparing coverage.

If you do not fill out the SR-22 form in a reasonable time frame, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be notified, and you will not be able to legally drive until you get an SR-22 certificate.

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