Stratford DUI Lawyer

If you are arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Stratford, Connecticut, you may face serious consequences that include a mandatory minimum of time spent in jail. A criminal conviction can result in the loss of not only your license, but also your ability to get to work and support yourself and your family.

For many people, a DUI arrest may be their first encounter with the justice system. Having their rights read to you and then heading off to jail can be a shock, but a Stratford DUI lawyer could guide you through the legal process to follow and protect your rights. An experienced criminal attorney could give you peace of mind necessary to prepare for trial.

Understanding Drunk Driving Laws

DUI laws in Stratford are very strict. There is essentially zero tolerance for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Anyone aged 21 or older operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated.

For those under the legal drinking age of 21, a BAC level of just 0.02 or above is considered legally intoxicated. The state’s implied consent law means that anyone operating a motor vehicle has given consent for BAC testing. If a person fails to consent to a BAC test, they automatically lose their driving rights for 45 days.

As a Stratford DUI lawyer knows, a first DUI offense in Connecticut is generally a misdemeanor, but second or subsequent offenses within ten years are felonies.

DUI Penalties in Stratford

An initial conviction for DUI results in a 45-day license suspension, along with fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. First offenders face a mandatory 48 hours in jail and possibly as much as six months behind bars, or 100 hours of community service. After that, the state requires the installation of an ignition interlock device for six months.

Potential Consequences for Multiple Offenses

For a second offense, there is a 120-day mandatory minimum jail sentence and 100 hours of community service, along with a fine ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. The ignition interlock must remain for one year, and for a third or subsequent conviction, the device remains on the motor vehicle for two years.

For a third-time or subsequent offender, penalties include a mandatory one-year jail term and 100 hours of community service and fines ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.

Those arrested with a BAC of 0.16 or above face even harsher penalties. In the same vein, the interlock device penalty is greater for those under 21 at the time of their arrest: one year for the first offense, two years for the second, and three years for the third or subsequent offense.

Speak with a Stratford DUI Attorney

Some people may prove eligible for an educational diversionary program that can keep them out of jail if they have never previously been convicted for drunk driving. Other clients may qualify for special driving permits, so they may attend school or go to work.

A Stratford DUI lawyer could investigate your case and protect your rights by examining all police reports and videos, along with other relevant evidence and potential legal options. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, call a Dui attorney in Stratford as soon as possible.