The penalties for drunk driving differ in each state, but the purpose is to deter driving under the influence. Connecticut enacts many other measures, such as DUI checkpoints and school education programs. Here are some facts about drunk driving that drivers in Norwich, Connecticut, should know about.
Connecticut DUI law overview and facts
Drunk driving accidents in the U.S. kill around 10,000 people annually and caused 1,080 fatal accidents between 2009 and 2018 in Connecticut. While most states call drunk driving DUI, Connecticut refers to drunk driving as OUI, or operating under the influence. Connecticut considers a driver under the influence with a blood alcohol content level of .08. and a commercial driver at .04%.
Under Zero Tolerance Law, a driver under 21 cannot have any amount of alcohol in their system. Implied consent laws mean the driver agrees to chemical testing because they have a license to operate a motor vehicle. Common chemical tests include the breathalyzer, which uses a breath sample to determine BAC, and blood and urine tests.
Penalties for a first offense may include between a $500 and $1,000 fine, 48-hour minimum jail, and a one-year license suspension. A second offense within ten years includes penalties of up to $4,000 in fines and a maximum of two years in jail.
In some cases, a first-time or second-time offender may choose 100 hours of community service instead of jail.
Drivers 21 and older must install an ignition interlock device for 45 days to six months and pay the monthly lease fee. If a driver refuses a chemical test, the officer seizes the license for 24 hours and reports it to the DMV. The driver can pick up their license at the police station once the 24-hour time period has passed.
OUI laws also include being under the influence of legal or illegal drugs. While drivers should avoid drunk driving, knowing some facts about the laws in Connecticut can give them better outcomes.