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Connecticut among the strictest states when it comes to DUIs

Connecticut is one of the worst states in the country to get caught driving under the influence. A recent study by WalletHub ranked Connecticut the seventh strictest state in the nation when it comes to DUIs. That's well above the ranking for our neighbors here in the Northeast. Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York were the closest, at 22, 25 and 30, respectively.

The study determined the ranking for each state and Washington, D.C. by looking at a number of factors related to DUI convictions. This included:

-- The minimum prison sentence for first-time and subsequent convictions-- Driver's license suspension periods-- Requirement of an ignition interlock device-- Mandatory treatment or alcohol assessment-- The amount of fines-- Enhanced penalties for "aggravated" DUIs, where a person's blood alcohol content is well above the legal limit

Here in Connecticut, a first DUI conviction carries a mandatory two-day jail sentence. For a second DUI, that jumps to 120 days. A third conviction is a felony, which carries the potential for significantly more time behind bars (even if there aren't additional charges, such as if someone was injured or killed).

If you're convicted of a DUI in Connecticut, you can lose your driver's license for 90 days. An IID is required on your vehicle(s) for 12 months after that.

A DUI conviction will also hit you hard in the bank account. The fine for a first-time DUI is $500. That goes to $1,000 with a second one. Another expense that many people don't consider is higher insurance rates. In Connecticut, the average auto insurance policy rate increase after a DUI is 100 percent.

With all of this at stake, even a first DUI needs to be taken seriously. A DUI arrest by no means has to lead to a conviction. It's essential to examine all of the evidence, such as the calibration of the Breathalyzer machine used, and all circumstances surrounding the traffic stop and arrest. A Connecticut criminal defense attorney with experience handling DUIs can work to thoroughly investigate those things and to protect your rights.

Source: WalletHub, "Strictest And Most Lenient States On DUI," Alina Comoreanu, Aug. 10, 2016

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