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Stamford Criminal Defense Law Blog

Man arrested for DUI after going twice legal speed limit

In the early morning hours of Oct. 5, Connecticut authorities charged a man with DUI and drug possession after he was pulled over for driving twice the legal speed limit. The incident took place in Darien.

According to local media reports, an officer with the Darien Police Department saw a black Volkswagen Passat traveling east on Post Road at approximately 1:15 a.m. The car was allegedly going 52 mph in a 25-mph zone. The officer pursued the car and allegedly observed it swerve over the double-yellow lines of the road and almost hit a curb, so he executed a traffic stop.

What happens if you refuse a Connecticut chemical alcohol test?

Even if you had just one alcoholic drink before getting behind the wheel, you may feel hesitant to take a chemical test if a Connecticut law enforcement official pulls you over and asks you to do so. You may know that a Connecticut drunk driving conviction brings with it serious repercussions and penalties, but you may know less about what can happen to you if you refuse to take a breath or other chemical test entirely.

According to the State of Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles, a law enforcement officer who stops you and believes you consumed alcohol prior to driving may ask you to submit to a chemical test using your hair, blood or urine. In most cases, breath tests are the preferred method of assessing your degree of intoxication, but, ultimately, it is at the discretion of the arresting officer to choose which type of test he or she wants to give you.

How accurate is eyewitness testimony?

As someone facing a criminal charge in Connecticut, you may have concerns about any potential eyewitnesses who plan to testify against you and how their testimony might impact your case. Historically, few types of evidence have proven as convincing to judges or juries as eyewitness testimony, which may lead you to believe that eyewitness statements are often valid and accurate. It turns out, however, that this is not always the case.

According to the Association for Psychological Science, while eyewitness testimony can often help convince a judge or jury of an alleged offender’s guilt, being convincing is not necessarily the same thing as being accurate. In fact, eyewitness testimony is actually far less accurate than most people believe.

The impact of a DUI conviction over a lifetime

If a Connecticut resident is accused of drinking and then driving while under the influence, they have a lot to lose if they are convicted. Today, we will take a look at both the short-term and long-lasting impacts a DUI conviction could possibly have on someone's life.

The Connecticut General Assembly closely examines DUI laws in the state. They start off by mentioning that any driver convicted of a DUI will face prison terms and fines. Even first time offenders can potentially have their license suspended for up to 45 days, along with having ignition interlock restrictions. If a person ends up being convicted of a DUI-related crime three or more times, they will have an ignition interlocking device installed.

What are Connecticut’s stalking laws?

A criminal charge can come as a surprise to some people who are accused of stalking. This can be a confusing area of law. You may be friendly with someone you work with even after she turned you down when you asked her out, only for her to misinterpret your friendliness as stalking. However, it is important for you and other Connecticut residents to understand what truly constitutes as stalking.

Stalking is a crime in Connecticut, as it is in other states, according to FindLaw. What exactly is stalking, you may wonder? It is defined as a repeated, intentional series of behaviors that give another person reasonable fear for his or her safety or life. The following behaviors can qualify as stalking:

  • Repeatedly showing up at another person’s residence or workplace
  • Following the other person home from work or to other places
  • Taking photographs of the other person without his or her permission

How do you help your child avoid alcohol charges in college?

For many college students in Connecticut and elsewhere, alcohol use is considered a rite of passage. You may also fondly remember the university events and tailgating parties you attended in your college days. However, if you have children in school, you should understand that they face numerous risks – both to their safety and to their legal interests – if they drink too much during the school year.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism cautions that many students develop drinking problems in college. Why is this, you may wonder? Students who are involved in fraternities, sororities and sports teams may be pressured to drink more than a healthy amount of alcohol during extracurricular activities. It is also common for new students to rely on alcohol to deal with the stress of adjusting to their workload and trying to fit in.

Connecticut residents: be careful with cannabis and driving

With some states still penalizing the use of recreational marijuana, cannabis proponents in Connecticut and elsewhere are interested in the future of marijuana use as it pertains to the entire country. The laws surrounding cannabis use can be confusing, especially when it pertains to medicinal use or driving with tetrahydrocannabinol in one’s system.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the component found in cannabis that causes a high. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain, THC can remain in a person’s bloodstream for weeks after the last marijuana use. A person can have THC in one’s system long after the high has worn off, which can present complications if a driver is pulled over and ordered to undergo a chemical test. Since the high produced from THC can impair a driver’s perception, reaction time, coordination, judgment and ability to make quick decisions, driving under the influence of marijuana can result in DUI charges. However, with THC remaining for so long in a person’s system, it is possible to get a DUI while being unimpaired.

Overcoming a violent past with hope and determination

When people have been apprehended for committing a violent crime in Connecticut, they often face many serious consequences related to their actions. Depending on the circumstances surrounding their situation and the outcome their behavior had on the people around them, their consequences could range from fines to community service to time spent in prison. 

Violent behavior is rarely a reaction that people make without prior triggers being present in their lives. For many people who have tendencies to react violently to situations, experiences from their past have influenced how they respond to stress, anger and other strong emotions. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, some of the factors that may influence a person's ability to manage and control their anger include the following:

  • Excessive exposure to media violence from movies, video games, music and television shows. 
  • Presence of genetic history of mental illnesses and behavioral illnesses. 
  • Complicated socioeconomics in their family makeup including unemployment, poverty and death. 
  • Having been the victim of incessant bullying or ridicule, as well as domestic violence. 

Can you challenge radar gun evidence?

You know the feeling. You crest a hill on a Connecticut road and start your descent. Unfortunately, you fail to notice the law enforcement officer at the bottom aiming his or her radar gun directly at you. The result? You get a speeding ticket. What now? Should you just pay the darn thing or challenge your alleged traffic offense?

According to FindLaw, you may do well to challenge the radar gun evidence in court. Why? Because radar guns often give inaccurate results.

What should you know about zero tolerance laws?

In Connecticut, a zero tolerance policy is in place. You may know that the related laws are meant to give harsher penalties to underage drinkers convicted of DUI-related crimes, but do you know how they function or came to be?

FindLaw examines zero tolerance laws, their purpose, and how they can impact you. First of all, these laws are in place with the intention of cutting down the rate of underage drinking and driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, up to a third of the roadway fatalities involving people aged 15-20 are related to underage drinking. Younger drivers typically have an alcohol use rate that is double that of those over 21 years old.

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