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Connecticut Drugged Driving

In Connecticut, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-227a(a) (West 2010).

Implied Consent

  • Any person who operates a motor vehicle in Connecticut shall be deemed to have given such person's consent to all requested chemical analysis of their blood, breath, and urine. Id. § 14-227b. However, this shall not apply to any person whose physical condition is such that, according to competent medical advice, such test would be unadvisable. Id.
  • The officer is to provide the driver with a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of the test. The test to be preformed will be at the discretion of the officer. Id. § 14-227b(b).
  • If the person refuses the officer will immediately revoke and take possession of the driver's license. Id. § 14-227b(c). A hearing to appeal the suspension may be requested. Id. § 14-227b(m).
  • Evidence of refusal shall be admissible in any criminal prosecution the court shall instruct the jury as to any inference that may or may not be drawn from the defendant's refusal to submit to a blood, breath or urine test. Id. § 14-227a(e).

Penalties

  • First offense – fine of not less than five hundred dollars or more than one thousand dollars; imprisonment for not more than six months; forty-eight consecutive hours mandatory minimum sentence or one hundred hours of community service; operating privilege suspended for one year. Id. §§ 14-227(g)-(l).
  • Second offense (w/i 10 years) –fine of not less than one thousand dollars or more than four thousand dollars; imprisonment for not more than two years (one hundred twenty consecutive days of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner); one hundred hours of community service; operating privilege suspended for three years or until the date of such person's twenty-first birthday, whichever is longer. Id.
  • Third and subsequent offense (w/i 10 years) fine of not less than two thousand dollars or more than eight thousand dollars; imprisonment of not more than three years (one year of which may not be suspended or reduced); one hundred hours of community service; operating privilege permanently revoked. Id.

Sobriety Checkpoints

Connecticut allows law enforcement officials to conduct roadblocks under an interpretation of the state Constitution. The state's interpretation affords more protections than the federal constitution.

  • State v. Mikolinski, 775 A.2d 274 (2001) -- Sobriety checkpoints which are operated neutrally are permissible under Connecticut state constitution prohibiting unreasonable searches or seizures because the state has significant interest in preventing impaired driving. Any intrusion on individual's privacy must be minimal and be weighed against the state's interests which the checkpoints seek to protect.

Case Law

State v. Weisenberg, 830 A.2d 795(2003) – Prosecution does not have to prove the quantity of drugs in the defendant's blood in order to convict a defendant for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs.

State v. Dalzell, 901 A.2d 706 (2006) -- A driver operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a drug is one whose mental, physical or nervous processes have become so affected that he loses, to some degree, the ability to control and operate a motor vehicle.