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New Drunk Driving Laws Take Effect


One of the most vexing problems facing law enforcement is that of drunk driving.

How big is the problem?

There are close to 235 billion car trips taken every year in the U.S. On average, one out of every two thousand trips are made by drivers under the influence of alcohol.

And one out of every three fatal car crashes involves an intoxicated driver. In fact, every 53 minutes in America – someone is killed in a drunk driving car accident.

Thanks in part to the lobbying efforts of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), states, including Connecticut, have moved aggressively in the last decade to cut the number of intoxicated drivers on the road.

Just what qualifies as “intoxicated” under Connecticut law?

In Connecticut, drivers over age 21 are deemed intoxicated if they have blood-alcohol levels (BAC) found to be .08% or more. Drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle (e.g., a large truck) are deemed over the limit if they have a BAC level of .04% or more. Drivers younger than 21 are over the limit if they have a BAC level of .02% or more.

Prior to July 1, 2015, Connecticut law stated that after a second offense for drunk driving, drivers faced three years of driving only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock, with operation for the first year limited to travel to or from work, school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, or ignition interlock service center.
The new Connecticut law for first-time offenders, effective July 1, 2015, requires a 45-day license suspension, followed by one year driving only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock.

So just what is an ignition interlock device?

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a mechanism, like a breathalyzer, installed in a vehicle to deter drinking and driving. Before the vehicle can be started, the driver must deliver a breath sample into the device, and if the analyzed result is greater than the pre-programmed level, the device prevents the vehicle from being started.

The data received from all breath samples are sent to the department(s) (Court/DMV/Probation, etc) who ordered the device to be installed.  When your data is reviewed, all of your data is reviewed so that law enforcement can know if and how many times you attempted to drive under the influence.

If you’re ever injured in a car accident you suspect was caused by a drunk driver, know that the Hartford car accident lawyers at RisCassi &Davis have been assisting drivers injured in such car accidents for 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us.  

There is no obligation of any kind.

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