What Will Happen if You Are Stopped by the Police?
If you’re pulled over and you’ve been drinking, when the police officer approaches your vehicle if he smells the odor of alcohol emanating from you, most likely he’s going to ask you to exit the car. This is so that he can administer some field sobriety tests that are the standard field sobriety tests. The tests are sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Once You Are Asked to Exit Your Vehicle, It is Highly Probable That You Will Be Arrested
I would say that in my experience, once you’re asked out of the car, in 99% of the cases, you are arrested. This is whether you perform the standard field sobriety test or you do not.
Connecticut Is an Implied Consent State, Refusal of the Breathalyzer Tests Results in the DMV Issuing a 6 Month License Suspension
Refusal of a Breathalyzer test in Connecticut comes under the implied consent law which states that anytime you’re driving in the State of Connecticut, you impliedly give your consent to take a breath test. If you refuse the test then the Department of Motor Vehicles is going to send you a notice. This notice details a 6-month suspension of your driver’s license, the first 3 months of which you cannot get a work permit. Whether you take the test or you do not take the test, you’re going to get a suspension notice. The suspension is longer if you refuse than if you do not refuse. On your first court appearance in Connecticut, the attorney will more than likely get a copy of your arrest report from the Assistant State’s Attorney that is prosecuting the case.
Your Defense Attorney Will Negotiate With the Prosecutor; if an Agreement is Not Reached, the Parties Attend a Judicial Pretrial
After that, there’ll be plea bargain negotiations and other negotiations with the prosecutor. If you do not get anywhere negotiating with the prosecutor then more often than not you’re entitled to a judicial pretrial to see whether judicial pretrial judge will side with you or come up with a better solution. Pending that if nothing works out or if the prosecutor holds his ground, the judge doesn’t back the prosecutor up then what will happen is you have to make a decision either to take the offer from the prosecutor or go to trial.
Going to Trial: the Arresting Officer Will Testify
If it’s part of the trial, the evidence will be the testimony of the arresting officer by what he observed, who is giving you standard field sobriety test, whether he smelled alcohol on your person, on your breath or coming from inside of the vehicle, whether you were driving erratically or not, whether you violated any State Traffic Laws that gave him the reason to stop you. There could be other testimony from other witnesses. That would be at a trial. If you negotiate with the prosecutor, the prosecutor is going to rely on the arrest report and his experience with regard to DUI cases.
The License Suspension Remains on Your Driving History for 10 Years
There’s the possibility of the driver’s suspension. That suspension notice will stay on your driver history in Connecticut for 10 years. This means that when your insurance company orders a copy of your driving history, they’ll notice that. What also means is that if there is any kind of employment check on your background and that turns up, it could affect your ability to get a job or to retain certain positions, depending on how sensitive the employer is to drunk driving charges and convictions, and of course, loss of license. Then there’s loss of license itself.