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Connecticut’s Drunk Driving Law, and Implied Consent Law.

Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut

Connecticut’s Drunk Driving Law, and Implied Consent Law.

Important!  These laws change frequently. 

Always check for the current version of the law.

This is in effect as of June 20, 2015. 

 

Connecticut’s drunk driving law is found in Connecticut General Statute § 14-227a.

There are several subsections to General Statute § 14-227a.  Each subsection deals with a certain aspect of Connecticut’s drunk driving law. 

First, crime is driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor or any drug or both. 

Operation while under the influence or while having an elevated blood alcohol content.  General Statute § 14-227a(a). 

No person shall operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both.

A person commits the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both if such person operates a motor vehicle:

(1) while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both, or

(2) while such person has an elevated blood alcohol content.  

Elevated blood alcohol content means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, (.08); except that if such person is operating a commercial motor vehicle, “elevated blood alcohol content” means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is four-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight (.04).

The term “motor vehicle” includes snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.

Therefore, under General Statute § 14-227a(a) there are two different ways to be convicted of DUI.  Driving (1) while under the influence or (2) driving with an elevated alcohol content.  If they can’t get you for having a blood alcohol content that is over the legal limit (.08 or .04 for a commercial motor vehicle), they will try to get you for driving under the influence.  So, this means that the “legal limit” is really a fiction because you can be convicted of driving while “under the influence” even if your alcohol content was well below the legal limit.  The lesson is the only safe amount of alcohol for driving is zero.

 

When the prosecution is trying to prove an elevated alcohol content (.04 or .08 for a commercial motor vehicle) there are six rules that apply.  General Statute § 14-227a(b). 

This section above applies to the vast majority of cases where the prosecution is seeking to prove “elevated alcohol content” rather than operating under the influence.  These are the six rules that must be followed in order to admit the results of the chemical tests into evidence in a trial.

Evidence respecting the amount of alcohol or drug in the defendant's blood or urine at the time of the alleged offense, as shown by a chemical analysis of the defendant's breath, blood or urine shall be admissible and competent provided:

(1) The defendant was afforded a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of the test and consented to the taking of the test upon which such analysis is made;

(2) a true copy of the report of the test result was mailed to or personally delivered to the defendant within twenty-four hours or by the end of the next regular business day, after such result was known, whichever is later;

(3) the test was performed by or at the direction of a police officer according to methods and with equipment approved by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and was performed in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (d) of this section;

(4) the device used for such test was checked for accuracy in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (d) of this section;

(5) an additional chemical test of the same type was performed at least ten minutes after the initial test was performed or, if requested by the police officer for reasonable cause, an additional chemical test of a different type was performed to detect the presence of a drug or drugs other than or in addition to alcohol, provided the results of the initial test shall not be inadmissible under this subsection if reasonable efforts were made to have such additional test performed in accordance with the conditions set forth in this subsection and such additional test was not performed or was not performed within a reasonable time, or the results of such additional test are not admissible for failure to meet a condition set forth in this subsection; and

(6) evidence is presented that the test was commenced within two hours of operation. 

In any prosecution under this section it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the results of such chemical analysis establish the ratio of alcohol in the blood of the defendant at the time of the alleged offense, except that if the results of the additional test indicate that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such defendant is ten-hundredths of one per cent or less of alcohol, by weight, and is higher than the results of the first test, evidence shall be presented that demonstrates that the test results and the analysis thereof accurately indicate the blood alcohol content at the time of the alleged offense.

 

When the prosecution is trying to prove driving under the influence then chemical analysis can only be admitted at the request of the defendant.  General Statute § 14-227a(c). 

In any prosecution for a violation of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section, reliable evidence respecting the amount of alcohol in the defendant's blood or urine at the time of the alleged offense, as shown by a chemical analysis of the defendant's blood, breath or urine, otherwise admissible under subsection (b) of this section, shall be admissible only at the request of the defendant.

The section applies to cases where the state is trying to prove you were driving under the influent rather than with blood alcohol content above the legal limit.  An example would be if you took the test and blew a .07.  That is below the limit.  But what if you were driving erratically and the police office believes you were driving “under the influence.”  In this situation, the defendant has the right to exclude the test result from evidence, or to admit them.  It is the defendant’s choice.  So, the defendant would have to decide whether they would want the jury to know that they had an alcohol level of .07. 

 

The government must adopt regulations to make sure that the testing machines are reliable.  General Statute § 14-227a(d).

The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall ascertain the reliability of each method and type of device offered for chemical testing and analysis purposes of blood, of breath and of urine and certify those methods and types which said commissioner finds suitable for use in testing and analysis of blood, breath and urine, respectively, in this state. The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, governing the conduct of chemical tests, the operation and use of chemical test devices, the training and certification of operators of such devices and the drawing or obtaining of blood, breath or urine samples as said commissioner finds necessary to protect the health and safety of persons who submit to chemical tests and to insure reasonable accuracy in testing results. Such regulations shall not require recertification of a police officer solely because such officer terminates such officer's employment with the law enforcement agency for which certification was originally issued and commences employment with another such agency.

 

If you refuse to take the alcohol test, evidence of that refusal is admissible in evidence.  General Statute  § 14-227a(e).

In any criminal prosecution for DUI evidence that the defendant refused to submit to a blood, breath or urine test requested in accordance with section 14-227b shall be admissible provided the requirements of subsection (b) of said section have been satisfied. If a case involving a violation of subsection (a) of this section is tried to a jury, 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.

 

Reduction, nolle or dismissal prohibited.  General Statute § 14-227a(f). 

If a person is charged with a violation of the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the charge may not be reduced, nolled or dismissed unless the prosecuting authority states in open court such prosecutor's reasons for the reduction, nolle or dismissal.

 

Penalties for operation while under the influence in Connecticut.

General Statute 14-227a(g).

FIRST VIOLATION

For conviction of a first violation,

Be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than one thousand dollars, and;

Be imprisoned as follows:

(i) imprisoned not more than six months, forty-eight consecutive hours of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, or

(ii) imprisoned not more than six months, with the execution of such sentence of imprisonment suspended entirely and a period of probation imposed requiring as a condition of such probation that such person perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, and;

Have their license suspended as follows:

Have such person's motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended for forty-five days and, as a condition for the restoration of such license, be required to install an ignition interlock device on each motor vehicle owned or operated by such person and, upon such restoration, be prohibited for the one-year period following such restoration from operating a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning, approved ignition interlock device, as defined in section 14-227j. 

 

SECOND VIOLATION

For conviction of a second violation within ten years after a prior conviction for the same offense,

Be fined not less than one thousand dollars or more than four thousand dollars, and

Be imprisoned not more than two years, one hundred twenty consecutive days of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring as a condition of such probation that such person: (i) Perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, (ii) submit to an assessment through the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch of the degree of such person's alcohol or drug abuse, and (iii) undergo a treatment program if so ordered, and;

Have their license suspended as follows:

[under 21 years old]

If such person is under twenty-one years of age at the time of the offense, have such person's motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended for forty-five days or until the date of such person's twenty-first birthday, whichever is longer, and, as a condition for the restoration of such license, be required to install an ignition interlock device on each motor vehicle owned or operated by such person and, upon such restoration, be prohibited for the three-year period following such restoration from operating a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning, approved ignition interlock device, as defined in section 14-227j, except that for the first year of such three-year period, such person's operation of a motor vehicle shall be limited to such person's transportation to or from work or school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, an ignition interlock device service center or an appointment with a probation officer, or

[21 or older]

If such person is twenty-one years of age or older at the time of the offense, have such person's motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended for forty-five days and, as a condition for the restoration of such license, be required to install an ignition interlock device on each motor vehicle owned or operated by such person and, upon such restoration, be prohibited for the three-year period following such restoration from operating a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning, approved ignition interlock device, as defined in section 14-227j, except that for the first year of such three-year period, such person's operation of a motor vehicle shall be limited to such person's transportation to or from work or school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, an ignition interlock device service center or an appointment with a probation officer.

 

THIRD VIOLATION

For conviction of a third and subsequent violation within ten years after a prior conviction for the same offense,

Be fined not less than two thousand dollars or more than eight thousand dollars, and

Be imprisoned not more than three years, one year of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring as a condition of such probation that such person: (i) Perform one hundred hours of community service, as defined in section 14-227e, (ii) submit to an assessment through the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch of the degree of such person's alcohol or drug abuse, and (iii) undergo a treatment program if so ordered, and

Have their license permanently revoked except that if such person's revocation is reversed or reduced pursuant to subsection (i) of section 14-111, such person shall be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning, approved ignition interlock device, as defined in section 14-227j, for the time period prescribed in subdivision (2) of subsection (i) of section 14-111.

 

Suspension of operator's license or nonresident operating privilege. General Statute § 14-227a(h). 

(1) Each court shall report each conviction under subsection (a) of this section to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, in accordance with the provisions of section 14-141. The commissioner shall suspend the motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of the person reported as convicted for the period of time required by subsection (g) of this section. The commissioner shall determine the period of time required by said subsection (g) based on the number of convictions such person has had within the specified time period according to such person's driving history record, notwithstanding the sentence imposed by the court for such conviction.

 

Special rule for someone who is under 18.  

(2) The motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of a person found guilty under subsection (a) of this section who is under eighteen years of age shall be suspended by the commissioner for the period of time set forth in subsection (g) of this section, or until such person attains the age of eighteen years, whichever period is longer.

 

Special rule for someone who was using a special operator’s permit.

(3) The motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of a person found guilty under subsection (a) of this section who, at the time of the offense, was operating a motor vehicle in accordance with a special operator's permit issued pursuant to section 14-37a shall be suspended by the commissioner for twice the period of time set forth in subsection (g) of this section.

(4) If an appeal of any conviction under subsection (a) of this section is taken, the suspension of the motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege by the commissioner, in accordance with this subsection, shall be stayed during the pendency of such appeal.

 

IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE. General Statute § 14-227a(i).

Ignition interlock device. 

(1) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall permit a person whose license has been suspended in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph (C) of subdivision (1) or subparagraph (C)(i) or (C)(ii) of subdivision (2) of subsection (g) of this section to operate a motor vehicle if

(A) such person has served the suspension required under said subparagraph, notwithstanding that such person has not completed serving any suspension required under subsection (i) of section 14-227b, and

(B) such person has installed an approved ignition interlock device in each motor vehicle owned or to be operated by such person, and verifies to the commissioner, in such manner as the commissioner prescribes, that such device has been installed.

This means anyone except a third offender can get an ignition interlock device. 

For a period of one year after the installation of an ignition interlock device by a person who is subject to subparagraph (C)(i) or (C)(ii) of subdivision (2) of subsection (g) of this section, such person's operation of a motor vehicle shall be limited to such person's transportation to or from work or school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, an ignition interlock device service center or an appointment with a probation officer. Except as provided in sections 53a-56b and 53a-60d, no person whose license is suspended by the commissioner for any other reason shall be eligible to operate a motor vehicle equipped with an approved ignition interlock device.

(2) All costs of installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device shall be borne by the person required to install such device. No court sentencing a person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section may waive any fees or costs associated with the installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device.

(3) The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this subsection. The regulations shall establish procedures for the approval of ignition interlock devices, for the proper calibration and maintenance of such devices and for the installation of such devices by any firm approved and authorized by the commissioner and shall specify acts by persons required to install and use such devices that constitute a failure to comply with the requirements for the installation and use of such devices, the conditions under which such noncompliance will result in an extension of the period during which such persons are restricted to the operation of motor vehicles equipped with such devices and the duration of any such extension. The commissioner shall ensure that such firm provide notice to both the commissioner and the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch whenever a person required to install such device commits a violation with respect to the installation, maintenance or use of such device.

(4) The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to authorize the continued operation of a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device by any person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is withdrawn, suspended or revoked for any other reason.

(5) The provisions of this subsection shall apply to any person whose license has been suspended in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph (C) of subdivision (1) or subparagraph (C)(i) or (C)(ii) of subdivision (2) of subsection (g) of this section on or after January 1, 2012.

(6) Whenever a person is permitted by the commissioner under this subsection to operate a motor vehicle if such person has installed an approved ignition interlock device in each motor vehicle owned or to be operated by such person, the commissioner shall indicate in the electronic record maintained by the commissioner pertaining to such person's operator's license or driving history that such person is restricted to operating a motor vehicle that is equipped with an ignition interlock device and, if applicable, that such person's operation of a motor vehicle is limited to such person's transportation to or from work or school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, an ignition interlock device service center or an appointment with a probation officer, and the duration of such restriction or limitation, and shall ensure that such electronic record is accessible by law enforcement officers. Any such person shall pay the commissioner a fee of one hundred dollars prior to the installation of such device.

(7) There is established the ignition interlock administration account which shall be a separate, nonlapsing account in the General Fund. The commissioner shall deposit all fees paid pursuant to subdivision (6) of this subsection in the account. Funds in the account may be used by the commissioner for the administration of this subsection.

(8) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, upon request of any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section whose operator's license is under suspension on January 1, 2012, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may reduce the term of suspension prescribed in subsection (g) of this section and place a restriction on the operator's license of such person that restricts the holder of such license to the operation of a motor vehicle that is equipped with an approved ignition interlock device, as defined in section 14-227j, for the remainder of such prescribed period of suspension.

(9) Any person required to install an ignition interlock device under this section shall be supervised by personnel of the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch while such person is subject to probation supervision or by personnel of the Department of Motor Vehicles if such person is not subject to probation supervision, and such person shall be subject to any other terms and conditions as the commissioner may prescribe and any provision of the general statutes or the regulations adopted pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection not inconsistent herewith.

(10) Notwithstanding the periods prescribed in subsection (g) of this section and subdivision (2) of subsection (i) of section 14-111 during which a person is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning, approved ignition interlock device, such periods may be extended in accordance with the regulations adopted pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection.

 

Participation in alcohol education and treatment program.  General Statute § 14-227a(i). 

In addition to any fine or sentence imposed pursuant to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section, the court may order such person to participate in an alcohol education and treatment program.

 

Seizure and admissibility of medical records of injured operator.  General Statute § 14-227a(k). 

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, evidence respecting the amount of alcohol or drug in the blood or urine of an operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident who has suffered or allegedly suffered physical injury in such accident, which evidence is derived from a chemical analysis of a blood sample taken from or a urine sample provided by such person after such accident at the scene of the accident, while en route to a hospital or at a hospital, shall be competent evidence to establish probable cause for the arrest by warrant of such person for a violation of subsection (a) of this section and shall be admissible and competent in any subsequent prosecution thereof if:

(1) The blood sample was taken or the urine sample was provided for the diagnosis and treatment of such injury;

(2) if a blood sample was taken, the blood sample was taken in accordance with the regulations adopted under subsection (d) of this section;

(3) a police officer has demonstrated to the satisfaction of a judge of the Superior Court that such officer has reason to believe that such person was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug or both and that the chemical analysis of such blood or urine sample constitutes evidence of the commission of the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug or both in violation of subsection (a) of this section; and

(4) such judge has issued a search warrant in accordance with section 54-33a authorizing the seizure of the chemical analysis of such blood or urine sample. Such search warrant may also authorize the seizure of the medical records prepared by the hospital in connection with the diagnosis or treatment of such injury.

 

Comment: This is the section that allows the police to take your blood when you were in an accident and are, for example, unconscious, and you wake up in the hospital, and then they use the medical records (blood tests) as the foundation for their DUI case against you on. 

 

Participation in victim impact panel program.  General Statute § 14-227a(l). 

If the court sentences a person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section to a period of probation, the court may require as a condition of such probation that such person participate in a victim impact panel program approved by the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch. Such victim impact panel program shall provide a nonconfrontational forum for the victims of alcohol-related or drug-related offenses and offenders to share experiences on the impact of alcohol-related or drug-related incidents in their lives. Such victim impact panel program shall be conducted by a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of victims of accidents caused by persons who operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both. Such organization may assess a participation fee of not more than seventy-five dollars on any person required by the court to participate in such program.

 

Connecticut’s Implied Consent Law. 

General Statute § 14-227b.

 

(a) Any person who operates a motor vehicle in this state shall be deemed to have given such person's consent to a chemical analysis of such person's blood, breath or urine and, if such person is a minor, such person's parent or parents or guardian shall also be deemed to have given their consent.

(b) If any such person, having been placed under arrest for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both, and thereafter, after being apprised of such person's constitutional rights, having been requested to submit to a blood, breath or urine test at the option of the police officer, having been afforded a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of such test and having been informed that such person's license or nonresident operating privilege may be suspended in accordance with the provisions of this section if such person refuses to submit to such test, or if such person submits to such test and the results of such test indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, and that evidence of any such refusal shall be admissible in accordance with subsection (e) of section 14-227a and may be used against such person in any criminal prosecution, refuses to submit to the designated test, the test shall not be given; provided, if the person refuses or is unable to submit to a blood test, the police officer shall designate the breath or urine test as the test to be taken. The police officer shall make a notation upon the records of the police department that such officer informed the person that such person's license or nonresident operating privilege may be suspended if such person refused to submit to such test or if such person submitted to such test and the results of such test indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content.

(c) If the person arrested refuses to submit to such test or analysis or submits to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, the police officer, acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, shall immediately revoke and take possession of the motor vehicle operator's license or, if such person is a nonresident, suspend the nonresident operating privilege of such person, for a twenty-four-hour period. The police officer shall prepare a report of the incident and shall mail or otherwise transmit in accordance with this subsection the report and a copy of the results of any chemical test or analysis to the Department of Motor Vehicles within three business days. The report shall contain such information as prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and shall be subscribed and sworn to under penalty of false statement as provided in section 53a-157b by the arresting officer. If the person arrested refused to submit to such test or analysis, the report shall be endorsed by a third person who witnessed such refusal. The report shall set forth the grounds for the officer's belief that there was probable cause to arrest such person for a violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a and shall state that such person had refused to submit to such test or analysis when requested by such police officer to do so or that such person submitted to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may accept a police report under this subsection that is prepared and transmitted as an electronic record, including electronic signature or signatures, subject to such security procedures as the commissioner may specify and in accordance with the provisions of sections 1-266 to 1-286, inclusive. In any hearing conducted pursuant to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section, it shall not be a ground for objection to the admissibility of a police report that it is an electronic record prepared by electronic means.

(d) If the person arrested submits to a blood or urine test at the request of the police officer, and the specimen requires laboratory analysis in order to obtain the test results, the police officer shall not take possession of the motor vehicle operator's license of such person or, except as provided in this subsection, follow the procedures subsequent to taking possession of the operator's license as set forth in subsection (c) of this section. If the test results indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, the police officer, immediately upon receipt of the test results, shall notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and submit to the commissioner the written report required pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(e) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, upon receipt of such report, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may suspend any operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person effective as of a date certain, which date shall be not later than thirty days after the date such person received notice of such person's arrest by the police officer. Any person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege has been suspended in accordance with this subdivision shall automatically be entitled to a hearing before the commissioner to be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 541 and prior to the effective date of the suspension. The commissioner shall send a suspension notice to such person informing such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended as of a date certain and that such person is entitled to a hearing prior to the effective date of the suspension and may schedule such hearing by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles not later than seven days after the date of mailing of such suspension notice.

(2) If the person arrested (A) is involved in an accident resulting in a fatality, or (B) has previously had such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended under the provisions of section 14-227a during the ten-year period preceding the present arrest, upon receipt of such report, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may suspend any operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person effective as of the date specified in a notice of such suspension to such person. Any person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege has been suspended in accordance with this subdivision shall automatically be entitled to a hearing before the commissioner, to be held in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. The commissioner shall send a suspension notice to such person informing such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended as of the date specified in such suspension notice, and that such person is entitled to a hearing and may schedule such hearing by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles not later than seven days after the date of mailing of such suspension notice. Any suspension issued under this subdivision shall remain in effect until such suspension is affirmed or such operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is reinstated in accordance with subsections (f) and (h) of this section.

(f) If such person does not contact the department to schedule a hearing, the commissioner shall affirm the suspension contained in the suspension notice for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section.

(g) If such person contacts the department to schedule a hearing, the department shall assign a date, time and place for the hearing, which date shall be prior to the effective date of the suspension, except that, with respect to a person whose operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended in accordance with subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of this section, such hearing shall be scheduled not later than thirty days after such person contacts the department. At the request of such person or the hearing officer and upon a showing of good cause, the commissioner may grant one or more continuances. The hearing shall be limited to a determination of the following issues: (1) Did the police officer have probable cause to arrest the person for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both; (2) was such person placed under arrest; (3) did such person refuse to submit to such test or analysis or did such person submit to such test or analysis, commenced within two hours of the time of operation, and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content; and (4) was such person operating the motor vehicle. In the hearing, the results of the test or analysis shall be sufficient to indicate the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person at the time of operation, provided such test was commenced within two hours of the time of operation. The fees of any witness summoned to appear at the hearing shall be the same as provided by the general statutes for witnesses in criminal cases. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of section 52-143, any subpoena summoning a police officer as a witness shall be served not less than seventy-two hours prior to the designated time of the hearing.

(h) If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds on any one of the said issues in the negative, the commissioner shall reinstate such license or operating privilege. If, after such hearing, the commissioner does not find on any one of the said issues in the negative or if such person fails to appear at such hearing, the commissioner shall affirm the suspension contained in the suspension notice for the appropriate period specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section. The commissioner shall render a decision at the conclusion of such hearing and send a notice of the decision by bulk certified mail to such person. The notice of such decision sent by bulk certified mail to the address of such person as shown by the records of the commissioner shall be sufficient notice to such person that such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege is reinstated or suspended, as the case may be.

(i) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, the commissioner shall suspend the operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of a person who did not contact the department to schedule a hearing, who failed to appear at a hearing, or against whom, as the result of a hearing held by the commissioner pursuant to subsection (h) of this section, as of the effective date contained in the suspension notice, for a period of: (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, ninety days, if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, (B) one hundred twenty days, if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or (C) six months if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis, (2) if such person has previously had such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended under this section, (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, nine months if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, (B) ten months if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, and (C) one year if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis, and (3) if such person has two or more times previously had such person's operator's license or nonresident operating privilege suspended under this section, (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, two years if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, (B) two and one-half years if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that the ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person was sixteen-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, and (C) three years if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis.

(j) The commissioner shall suspend the operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of a person under twenty-one years of age who did not contact the department to schedule a hearing, who failed to appear at a hearing or against whom, after a hearing the commissioner held pursuant to subsection (h) of this section, as of the effective date contained in the suspension notice or the date the commissioner renders a decision whichever is later, for twice the appropriate period of time specified in subsection (i) of this section, except that, in the case of a person who is sixteen or seventeen years of age at the time of the alleged offense, the period of suspension for a first offense shall be one year if such person submitted to a test or analysis and the results of such test or analysis indicated that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content or eighteen months if such person refused to submit to such test or analysis.

(k) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) to (j), inclusive, of this section, any police officer who obtains the results of a chemical analysis of a blood sample taken from or a urine sample provided by an operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident who suffered or allegedly suffered physical injury in such accident, or is otherwise deemed by a police officer to require treatment or observation at a hospital, shall notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and submit to the commissioner a written report if such results indicate that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content, and if such person was arrested for violation of section 14-227a in connection with such accident. The report shall be made on a form approved by the commissioner containing such information as the commissioner prescribes, and shall be subscribed and sworn to under penalty of false statement, as provided in section 53a-157b, by the police officer. The commissioner may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, which shall be conducted by a hearing officer on behalf of the commissioner in accordance with chapter 54, suspend the motor vehicle operator's license or nonresident operating privilege of such person for the appropriate period of time specified in subsection (i) or (j) of this section. Each hearing conducted under this subsection shall be limited to a determination of the following issues: (1) Whether the police officer had probable cause to arrest the person for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug or both; (2) whether such person was placed under arrest; (3) whether such person was operating the motor vehicle; (4) whether the results of the analysis of the blood or urine of such person indicate that such person had an elevated blood alcohol content; and (5) in the event that a blood sample was taken, whether the blood sample was obtained in accordance with conditions for admissibility and competence as evidence as set forth in subsection (k) of section 14-227a. If, after such hearing, the commissioner finds on any one of the said issues in the negative, the commissioner shall not impose a suspension. The fees of any witness summoned to appear at the hearing shall be the same as provided by the general statutes for witnesses in criminal cases, as provided in section 52-260.

(l) The provisions of this section shall apply with the same effect to the refusal by any person to submit to an additional chemical test as provided in subdivision (5) of subsection (b) of section 14-227a.

(m) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person whose physical condition is such that, according to competent medical advice, such test would be inadvisable.

(n) The state shall pay the reasonable charges of any physician who, at the request of a municipal police department, takes a blood sample for purposes of a test under the provisions of this section.

(o) For the purposes of this section, “elevated blood alcohol content” means (1) a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, (2) if such person is operating a commercial motor vehicle, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is four-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight, or (3) if such person is less than twenty-one years of age, a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is two-hundredths of one per cent or more of alcohol, by weight.

(p) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to implement the provisions of this section.

 

Blood or breath samples required following accidents resulting in death or serious physical injury.  General Statute § 14-227c.

(a) As part of the investigation of any motor vehicle accident resulting in the death of a person, the Chief Medical Examiner, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, an associate medical examiner, a pathologist as specified in section 19a-405, or an authorized assistant medical examiner, as the case may be, shall order that a blood sample be taken from the body of any operator or pedestrian who dies as a result of such accident. Such blood samples shall be examined for the presence and concentration of alcohol and any drug by the Division of Scientific Services within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Nothing in this subsection or section 19a-406 shall be construed as requiring such medical examiner to perform an autopsy in connection with obtaining such blood samples.

(b) A blood or breath sample shall be obtained from any surviving operator whose motor vehicle is involved in an accident resulting in the serious physical injury, as defined in section 53a-3, or death of another person, if (1) a police officer has probable cause to believe that such operator operated such motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both, or (2) such operator has been charged with a motor vehicle violation in connection with such accident and a police officer has a reasonable and articulable suspicion that such operator operated such motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, or both. The test shall be performed by or at the direction of a police officer according to methods and with equipment approved by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and shall be performed by a person certified or recertified for such purpose by said department or recertified by persons certified as instructors by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. The equipment used for such test shall be checked for accuracy by a person certified by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection immediately before and after such test is performed. If a blood test is performed, it shall be on a blood sample taken by a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state, a qualified laboratory technician, a registered nurse, a physician assistant or a phlebotomist. The blood samples obtained from an operator pursuant to this subsection shall be examined for the presence and concentration of alcohol and any drug by the Division of Scientific Services within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

Where to get help.

If you or anyone you know needs the help of a DUI lawyer contact the DUI lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut at 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888-717-4211.

For DUI cases we handle cases in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  We have satellite offices in Shelton, Connecticut, and East Berlin, Connecticut also. 

 


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