Without warning, a typical night can turn into a major legal and personal problem if you’re arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI). You might not be sure about your options, especially if your breathalyzer test result is over the relevant legal limit. However, the accomplished trial advocates at MeehanLaw, LLC in Bridgeport investigate the facts thoroughly and identify ways that you might be able to defeat the case against you or reduce the penalty you receive.
Nearly half of the fatal auto accidents that occur in Connecticut involve at least one driver who is impaired by alcohol. To reduce the number of accidents, injuries and deaths caused by drunk driving, the state imposes some harsh penalties on motorists who have been found to violate the law in this area, including:
Within the state, drivers who are at least 21 years old are considered intoxicated if their blood alcohol level is .08 percent or higher. Underage drivers face a tougher standard and can be charged if their breathalyzer or blood test reading is .02 percent or higher. Our dedicated criminal defense lawyers will explain the standards that apply in your case and develop a defense strategy based on your circumstances, which could include a plea to a non-OUI charge.
Some people believe that if they refuse a breathalyzer test, police and prosecutors might not have the evidence they need to press charges. However, the truth is much more complicated and, in many cases, the sanctions might be worse if you fail to cooperate with an officer who asks you to take a test. Under the doctrine of implied consent, any driver on a Connecticut road agrees to abide by certain rules, including submission to a sobriety evaluation upon request. The punishment for a first refusal is an automatic 45-day license suspension and the installation of an ignition interlock device, which prevents the car from starting unless the driver passes a breath test.
The law enforcement process used to arrest an allegedly intoxicated driver has many parts, and an error at any time could prejudice the case against a motorist. An officer must have a reasonable suspicion that illegal activity is occurring to make an OUI stop. A higher standard, probable cause, must be met to justify an arrest. In many instances, these determinations rely on the subjective impressions generated during a brief roadside encounter or sobriety test. Even breathalyzers and other chemical tests can be mishandled or misleading. We analyze each aspect of drunk driving cases in great detail and identify any potential defenses that could lead to the exclusion of evidence or the dismissal of charges.
MeehanLaw, LLC represents Connecticut drivers who are accused of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Please call our Bridgeport firm at 203-916-1743 or contact us online to make an appointment for a free initial consultation at our office, less than two miles from the University of Bridgeport. We serve clients in Fairfield County and throughout the state of Connecticut.