Connecticut First Offense DUI

Connecticut First Offense DUI Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

A first offense DUI in Connecticut involves two separate cases. The first case will be the criminal case of driving under the influence, which will be handled through the CT court system. The second case is the matter of your driving privileges and driver’s license, which will be handled through the CT DMV.

A person may be arrested on a DUI charge in CT in two different ways. The first is for registering a BAC level of .08% or greater. A person may not show the signs typically associated with someone who is drunk, but the mere fact of having a BAC of .08% is in violation of Connecticut’s “per se” law. The second is if a person displays signs typically associated with someone who is under the influence, but who’s BAC is less than the legal limit, may still be arrested and charged with a CT DUI based on physical impairment.

Connecticut First Offense DUI Penalties


The fine amounts for a first offense DUI in CT range from $500 up to a maximum of $1,000 plus all associated court costs.

Jail Time

A first offense will result in a minimum of 48 hours in jail up to a maximum of 6 months jail time. At the court’s discretion they may suspend part or all of the jail sentence in lieu of up to 100 hours of community service.

Drivers License Suspension

Driver’s over the age of 21 with a BAC between .08% – .159% will have their driver’s license suspended for 90 days. Driver’s who registered a BAC of .16% or greater will have their driver’s license suspended for 120 days. Driver’s under the age of 21 will experience longer suspension periods than those of driver’s over 21 years of age.

Before the CT DMV will reinstate your driving privileges following your suspension period or before granting you a hardship license (if you qualify for one) you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility to the DMV in the form of an SR-22 filing. The SR-22 filing will be handled by your insurance provider.

The DMV will require you to maintain your SR-22 filing for a period of 3-years following your suspension period.

Ignition Interlock

Currently the state of Connecticut does not have a mandatory ignition interlock law for first time offenders. However, an ignition interlock may be required by the court in cases where the offender had a high BAC level, or an accident resulting in injuries was involved, or a minor was in the vehicle at the time.

Community Service

Up to 100 hours of community service may be assessed in lieu of jail time for first time offenders.

Chemical Test Refusal

A first time offender who refuses to submit to a chemical test will have their driver’s license automatically revoked for 6 months.

Connecticut Administrative Drivers License Hearing

When you are arrested on a first offense charge in CT you only 7 days from the date of the arrest in which to call and schedule an administrative hearing with the DMV.

Important: Failure to request an administrative hearing within the allotted seven days will result in the officer’s suspension of your driver’s license being up held. If you hope to have a successful outcome at your hearing it is important that you contact our CT DUI lawyers immediately to schedule your hearing.

The purpose of an administrative hearing is for the administrative hearing officer who has been assigned to hear your case to review the evidence that has been presented against you by the arresting officer. It is also the hearing officer’s job to make sure that the arresting officer followed the proper procedures during the arrest.

After the hearing officer has reviewed the evidence against you, you and your lawyer will be able to present your case and any evidence in your favor. The hearing also offers a chance for your lawyer to cross examine or challenge the arresting officer’s testimony and evidence. Your lawyer will later be able to use the information gathered during the hearing to your benefit during your criminal trial in court. 

Connecticut SR22 Insurance Information

All first time DUI offenders will be required to maintain their SR-22 filing with the CT DMV for a period of 3-years without experiencing any lapse in coverage during that period. A lapse in coverage will result in in your license being cancelled by the DMV. If this occurs you will have to go through the reinstate process all over again not to mention the 3-year filing period will start from the beginning.

In order to avoid a lapse in your CT SR22 insurance coverage it is very important that you get multiple quotes from insurance companies in your area that offer SR22 filings to find the lowest rates possible.

Additional Connecticut DUI Resources