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Steven A. Tomeo & Associates, LLC

The simple answer is “YES!”

In Connecticut, a person facing a first time ever DUI charge is eligible for the Pre-Trial Alcohol Education Program (AEP). Even if that person goes through the program their license is still subject to suspension. In Connecticut, there is a two-part system. There is the Criminal Court Process and the DMV Administrative Per Se Suspension Hearing Process. If an offender loses at the DMV hearing, they might have their license suspended for 45 days. The offender might also get six months with the ignition interlock device. The offender is responsible for the cost of the installation and the cost of the equipment and maintaining it.

I tell everyone that the DMV laws are written in granite. The hearing officer has no discretion on the penalties. If you lose the Per Se Hearing you get a license suspension plus the IID for a period. If you win the Per Se Hearing you walk away without a suspension, no IID and do not have to pay for any DMV fees. This is only the DMV process and has no bearing on what happens to you in court. The Court and DMV Processes are separate and distinct from one another.

According to clients, the ignition interlock device breaks often, and they have had to pay for repairs, which are expensive. If you are driving, the device will ask you in the middle of a trip to blow into it, so you must then find a place to pull over within a specified amount of time. If you do not do it, the company sends a report to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In turn, the Department of Motor Vehicles might then add time to the end of your time. This could cause a six-month consequence to extend to seven or eight months.

What’s The Basic Definition of Driving Under the Influence In Connecticut And Are These Misdemeanor Or Felony In Connecticut And What Does It Matter To My Case?

Connecticut General Statute Section 14-227a reads in part as follows:

“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. For the purposes of this section, “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, 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, and “motor vehicle” includes a snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle, as those terms are defined in section 14-379.”

In Connecticut, most people think the issue is “driving” the motor vehicle, but it is not. The statute prohibits a person from “operating” a motor vehicle. So, it is the definition of operation that the Court and the DMV are concerned about.

In Connecticut, the definition of operation derives from case law. No statutes define Operation. And, our Courts have ruled that the definition of operation in both CGSA Sec. 14-227a and CGSA Sec. 14-227b (DMV statute) is the same.

As early as 1939 the Connecticut Supreme Court defined “Operation of a Motor Vehicle,” The Court stated:

[The] statute [in question] refers to persons who shall operate a motor vehicle and is not confined to persons who shall drive a motor vehicle. A person operates a motor vehicle within the meaning of this statute, when in the vehicle he intentionally does any act or makes use of any mechanical or electrical agency which alone or in sequence will set in motion the motive power of the vehicle. State v. Swift, 125 Conn. 399, 402-403, 6 A2d. 359 (1939).

There are other interpretive Court rulings: “There have been subsequent cases from the Connecticut Supreme Court and indicate that operation can be if you are sitting behind the wheel with the engine running; you are sitting behind the wheel with the key in the ignition and the engine is not running. There is a case with a remote starting of the car where the car was started before the person got behind the wheel. He then sat behind the wheel. The Court ruled that was operation. The fact that the defendant had to insert his key to be able to drive the car did not sway the Court. This was one step in a sequence that will set in motion the motive power of the car.”

A conviction of a second offense and more is considered a felony while a first offense conviction is considered a misdemeanor.

For more information on DUI Sentencing In Connecticut, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (860) 764-2744 today.

STEVEN TOMEO, ESQ.

CALL NOW TO SET UP A FREE CONSULTATION
(860) 764-2744

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