Meriden DUI Penalties
Operating a motor vehicle is considered a privilege in all U.S. states, including Connecticut. Under the state’s implied consent law, drivers that choose to operate vehicles on Connecticut roads have given consent to have their blood alcohol content tested to ensure they comply with state laws prohibiting operating vehicles under the influence.
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a criminal offense that can result in fines, incarceration, and/or both. An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) is not the same as a conviction for that charge.
Since Meriden DUI penalties are so serious, it is important to contact an experienced Meriden DUI lawyer for assistance and to fully understand your rights.
Potential Criminal Penalties
Following a first-time conviction for operating a vehicle under the influence, the driver can be penalized with fines up to $1,000, but not less than $500, up to six months’ incarceration, and up to 100 hours of community service. The driver is also at risk for their driver’s license being suspended for up to one year in addition to being required to install an ignition interlock device for one year when their license is reinstated. The costs associated with that device is the driver’s responsibility.
When a driver is charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol within 10 years of the first offense, the penalties increase. The driver can be penalized with fines between $1,000 and $4,000, no more than two years’ imprisonment, probation, and 100 hours of community service.Additionally, the driver’s license can be suspended for three years, if the person is 21 or older at the time of the arrest. They will also be obligated to install an ignition interlock device for at least three years when their license is restored, and are responsible for the costs to install and maintain the equipment.
When the driver has been convicted of operating under the influence three or more times within 10 years of an earlier conviction, they can be fined between $2,000 and $8,000. The driver can also be incarcerated for three years or less and is subject to serve at least one full year. Further, the driver is subject to probation, 100 hours of community service, and to have their driver’s license permanently revoked. A qualified DUI lawyer can help individuals mitigate the Meriden DUI penalties that they face.
Department of Motor Vehicles
After a driver is charged with operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that driver’s arrest report is sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Refusal to submit to a breath, urine, and/or blood test also results in the arrest report being sent to the DMV.
Once the report is received by the staff at the DMV, the driver’s license is suspended in compliance with the corresponding Connecticut General Statute, which is separate and distinct from penalties that can be imposed as a result of the criminal case.
The license suspension typically begins within 30 days of the driver’s arrest date, unless the driver appeals the suspension through the administrative process. Notice of the suspension is mailed to the driver at their address with the DMV, and there is a short seven-day window in which they may request a hearing.
Failure to do so will result in the suspension becoming effective. Requesting a hearing, however, does not prohibit the hearing officer from determining that the driver’s license should be suspended. Contact a DUI lawyer for assistance throughout this process. Meriden DUI Penalties can be severe, and an attorney can fight these charges and attempt to lessen the severity of the penalties you face.