DUI Enforcement in New Haven
DUIs are very common and people from all walks of life get them, regardless of socioeconomic status, racial demographic, or age. With that said, DUIs are considered a major problem for society as a whole and the police get pressure from groups like MADD, state legislature, and local towns to crack down on impaired driving.
For this reason, there has been a significant crackdown on DWIs and DUIs across the country and police will not let a person drive home if they suspect them of drinking and driving. Additionally, New Haven law enforcement does checkpoints to attempt and proactively catch people who are driving while they are impaired.
With all of these resources being used, anyone who is arrested for a DUI should immediately consult with a New Haven DUI lawyer for a free consultation to learn more and discuss their case. These charges do not go away on their own, making it important anyone facing this offense is aware of what to expect and is able to put the strongest defense possible forward.
Unique Aspects of DUI Charges in New Haven
What makes DUIs unique in New Haven is the two-track system Connecticut has, one at the DMV and one at court, that are completely independent of one another. There are situations where clients have been found not guilty after a trial and still lose their license for three years from the DMV hearing.
Beating the court case does not mean a person is off the hook, alternatively just because a person beat the DMV case does not mean they are off the hook on the criminal side of the case. In that regard, all Connecticut DUI cases, not just New Haven cases, are unique.
The other thing that makes DUIs unique are the sentencing schemes, what is known as a mandatory minimum really is not a true mandatory minimum. Meaning a person can be incarcerated for a mandatory-minimum period of time for just about any other crime, except for the most serious ones in Connecticut statutes. However, if a person is sentenced to any period of mandatory incarceration, generally they are released before the minimum period has elapsed. However, this does not apply to DUI cases, if a person is sentenced to mandatory time on DWIs, they will generally serve every day of the sentence.
Per Se v. Common Law DUIs
Under Connecticut General Statute 14-227A, there are two theories leading to a DUI arrest, per se and common law offenses. Per se offense is driving with a blood alcohol content in excess of 0.08. Common law is driving with an elevated blood alcohol content, not necessarily 0.08.
The statute does not define what elevated blood alcohol content is, except with certain jury instructions from the state Those instruction say driving or being arrested for common law DUI means the defendant was driving with the caution characteristic of a similar person or a person driving under the influence. Both per se and common law offenses constitute a DWI.
DUI cases are handled differently depending on how serious the case is. After the defense attorneys take a look at all the police reports and the state does too, to see if there are any aggravating factors. There is no statute defining aggravated DUI. However the defense attorney will review factors such as blood-alcohol level, accidents, injuries, reckless driving, or speeding to see if anything will make a case more difficult. There is not a set way on how these cases are handled.