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Understand your options for handling a drunk driving charge

A DUI arrest starts a series of events that can be very difficult to live with. You will have to go to court and possibly face significant civil penalties, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Connecticut laws are strict when it comes to drunk driving. Understanding the law can help you determine how you are going to respond to the charges against you.

When you are arrested for drunk driving

If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer who believes you are driving under the influence, you will be asked to take a test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The implied consent law requires you to take a BAC test or face consequences for refusal.

The results of your BAC breath test will determine what happens next. If your BAC is .08 or higher and you are legally able to drive (or if it is .02 and you are under the legal drinking age), the officer will read you your rights and will arrest you.

On top of having to deal with being arrested, you will have to figure out how to get your vehicle. When you are arrested for drunk driving, your vehicle will be towed from the location of the stop. You will have to pay the towing fees.

Actions you need to take

One of the most pressing aspects of being arrested for drunk driving is the driver's license suspension. Typically, you will be able to drive pending the outcome of your court case but will have to deal with the loss of your license if you are convicted.

The exception to this is if you refuse to take a BAC test. In that case, you will be subjected to a suspension that starts 30 days after the date you are arrested. You would have to file a request for a hearing with the Administrative Per Se Unit within seven days of the mailing of the suspension notification that is mailed to the address you have on file for your driver's license.

You will also have to think about the defense you will use in the criminal case. Some of the defenses you might be able to use include calling the validity of the stop into question, claiming that the field sobriety test wasn't valid, or questioning the accuracy of a BAC test. Other options might also be present based on the circumstances of your case.

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