Group Picture of The Law Offices of Mark Sherman, LLC

DUI / DWI Arrests in Westport, Connecticut (Part 1 of 3)

DUI / DWI Arrests in Westport, Connecticut
(Part 1 of 3)

As any of the top criminal lawyers and attorneys in Westport Connecticut appreciate, fighting a DUI / DWI / OUI arrest in Westport Connecticut requires a two-pronged attack: first, in the criminal courts and next, at the Connecticut DMV. Depending on your DWI arrest history, you will have to answer to misdemeanor or felony DUI / DWI charges in Connecticut Superior Court, where prosecutors may be looking to enforce mandatory minimum jails sentences if they consider you a repeat DUI / DWI offender. On top of that, the best Westport Connecticut criminal law firms will assist you in challenging a mandatory 45-day driver’s license suspension, which will be followed by a mandatory Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”) requirement for a 6 month to 1 year time period.

And as the top DUI / DWI criminal lawyers and attorneys in Westport Connecticut frequently see, the Westport Police Department will also try to publicly shame you and deter future Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI offenders by releasing your name, contact information, and mug shot to the press, coupled with a false, one-sided and defamatory police report summary to the local online newspapers such as the Westport News, Westport Minuteman, and the Westport Patch. Between your criminal court appearances, DMV suspension hearing, and purging the online reports of your Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI drunk driving arrest, it can be too much to handle alone. So if you have been arrested for DUI / DWI in Westport Connecticut, be sure to contact a top Westport Connecticut criminal lawyer to take control of your case and attempt to get your Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI dismissed as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible.

What Do I Do If I’m Pulled Over in Westport Connecticut for a DUI / DWI?

This is a common question asked by Westport Connecticut drivers—what do I do if an officer asks me to take the field tests or take a breath test during a Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI traffic stop? Know your rights, for starters. Know that you have a choice; however, refusing to take these tests come with consequences. If you know that you are severely intoxicated, or if you have caused serious personal injury in a Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI car accident, then you should probably not take the field tests or breath tests until you’ve had a chance to speak with a top Westport Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney.

When making the decision to take the breath test, you should also consider whether you have been arrested in the past for a DUI / DWI in Connecticut (a repeat offender), or proceed cautiously if you’re under 21. If you are a Westport Connecticut driver who is under the age of 21, then you should remember that the legal BAC limit is under .02, not .08, basically a zero tolerance standard. And if you have prior DUI / DWI arrests, then the courts will consider you a repeat offender, and you will be facing much stiffer penalties such as mandatory minimum jails sentences between 120 days and 1 year. That’s why it’s recommended to use that “one phone call” to contact a top Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal defense attorney lawyer before deciding to take or refuse the breath test. All of the top Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal lawyers and attorneys regularly field calls at all hours of the night to make sure you make the most responsible decision for your case.

Westport Connecticut DUI Arrests Based on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

The best Westport Connecticut criminal lawyers understand that once you are pulled over for a suspected DUI / DWI, the Westport Connecticut police officers handling your traffic stop will ask you to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (the “SFSTs”) to help them determine whether they have probable cause to arrest you for Drunk Driving DWI / DUI in Westport Connecticut under CGS 14-227a. While Connecticut does have an implied consent statute, most drivers don’t realize that they can refuse to submit to a field test, which is a good idea if you are a repeat offender or have caused seriously physical injury to another motorist, car passenger, or pedestrian. Refusing to submit to a field sobriety test during a Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI police stop can actually benefit the driver, by limiting the amount of evidence the prosecution can use against you in court or in a Connecticut DMV suspension hearing. While it is important to be respectful to all of the Westport Connecticut police officers and to comply with their requests for information such as your name, number, license and registration, you still have the freedom to protect yourself with a refusal of the field tests and breath test if you feel it is in your best interest.

Penalties for Refusing a Breath Test during a Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI

In 2015, Connecticut lawmakers enacted a drastic change in Connecticut DUI / DWI law, requiring anyone who fails or refuses a breath test to install an “Ignition Interlock Device” (called an “IID”) in their vehicles after a 45-day suspension. As the best Connecticut DUI / DWI lawyers know, a refusal triggers a one-year IID requirement after the 45-day suspension. A failure of the breath, blood or urine test requires a 6 month IID requirement. You can, however, appeal your suspension with the assistance of any of the best Westport Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys. This appeal hearing takes place at the Connecticut DMV hearing rooms in Bridgeport or Waterbury and focuses on whether the Westport Police properly administered the breath or urines tests, or alternatively, whether their determination that you refused the breath test following your Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI was constitutionally and statutorily proper.

Continue Reading…Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI Arrests, Part 2 of 3
(Fighting Your Westport DUI / DWI Arrest, First Time Westport DUI / DWI Offenders, and much more)