As society becomes more complicated, people begin to protect their status and enter into different forms of legal relationship. So, from the earliest times, there has been a need for laws, judges, and attorneys. With centuries of experience behind them, lawyers have developed comprehensive systems for helping clients advance their causes or defend against adverse claims.
The civil law in Connecticut as it affects car insurance has been through changes. Originally, the financial responsibility laws assumed the usual law of tort would apply to establish the liability to pay compensation. Then the state decided to adopt the no-fault system and drivers claimed from their own insurers regardless who was at fault. Only if the amount claimed was more than the mandatory minimums could the injured party sue the party at fault. The Public Act 93-297 changed back to at-fault car insurance. This is a victory for the car accident attorneys who are now back in business to run all the litigation to establish who was the cause of the accident.
If you have resources, the cost of employing an attorney for civil matters is affordable. If you need legal advice but cannot afford it, you are either looking for pro bono services or looking at the criteria for free legal help. Some groups like veterans may qualify under the Stand Down program. There are a number of organizations offering free or subsidized help to the poor. The Connecticut Bar Association has an approved list and provides free assistance to these organizations. Always try to get the advice of a specialist car accident attorney.
Because the car insurance industry often treats any ticket as an excuse to raise your annual premium rate, it’s advisable to take advice on whether a ticket can be avoided. Indeed, the more serious the moving violation, the greater the need to get the views of an experienced defense attorney for your state. The more serious the offense, the greater the likelihood you will be rated as a high-risk driver. This may result in you being refused cover by conventional insurers.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Connecticut is considered a serious offense. The blood alcohol concentration levels for the two age groups are:
• under 21 0.02
• over 21 0.08
If the driver is in control of a commercial vehicle, the BAC is 0.04.
What about drugs?
If a urine test shows the presence of marijuana or any other drug, the mere presence of the drug is proof of impairment. The law does not set a minimum concentration in the blood. So long as the arresting officer had reasonable cause to stop the vehicle, e.g. you were speeding, straddling the lane, or driving erratically, you will be convicted
There is no formal plea bargaining system in place to reduce the charge to reckless driving involving alcohol. Whether you might be able to take advantage of such a plea will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, your record as a driver, and the skills of your attorney. If this option is unlikely to be open to you. you could refuse to take the chemical test. Connecticut has an implied consent law, i.e. all drivers are assumed to have given their consent to a test simply by getting behind the wheel. If you refuse this test, there is an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months for the first offense plus 2 days time in jail. This rises to 1 year for the second offense and 120 days in jail.
If you are convicted of DUI, the jail option runs from 2 days minimum to 6 months. If the jail time is suspended, you will have to spend 100 hours doing community service. The maximum fine is $1,000. In any event, your driver’s license is suspended for 1 year and you will be required to go through a Substance Abuse Treatment Program. Your vehicle can also be impounded.