Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law
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Stamford, CT 203-977-2415
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Know the difference: suspension and conviction

Connecticut law assumes that driving is a privilege granted under certain conditions. Specifically, you have already given your consent to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test when you drive on a public roadway. At the offices of Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law, we understand that this can sometimes feel like a violation of basic rights. We are prepared to mount administrative and criminal defenses on our clients' behalf to attempt to get their driving privileges reinstated.

While there are penalties you would probably incur if you were to refuse a BAC test, they are slightly different than those you might face if you were convicted of an OUI charge. Here is a brief explanation of how Connecticut handles refusals versus how it handles convictions.

Both a refusal to take a chemical alcohol test an OUI conviction would probably result in you losing your license. Your license could be suspended for 45 days if you refused a test during an arrest. You could also receive a 45-day suspension for a first or second conviction.

The other major consequence that both convictions and refusals have in common is that you could be required to install an ignition interlock device. These devices test you for alcohol before allowing you to start the vehicle.

If you fail a BAC test during an arrest as an adult, you could face an order to have the device installed for six months to two years, depending on the offense. If you refuse the test, you would likely face one to three years of this sanction. As per Connecticut law, the IID installation requirements are different for convictions:

  • One year for the first offense
  • 3 years for the second offense
  • At least 15 years for the third or subsequent offense

It is worth noting that any time you spent with an IID installed or with a suspended license for refusing a test could count towards your conviction penalties. Therefore, you may be able to immediately reclaim your license or avoid further interruption to your driving privileges if you had already served the entirety of your 45-day term for refusing to test. Furthermore, you may be able to prevent some or all of these penalties. Please continue to our main site to read more.

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