Organization pushes CT lawmakers to consider a harsher DUI penalty

There is no question that those who choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are infringing on the rights of other motorists to stay safe on the road. This is a topic that certainly hits home with many residents of Connecticut, as well as Americans nationwide. According to the Century Council, nearly 8,500 people were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol within the state in 2011. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that 85 lives were lost in 2012 due to auto accidents caused by drunk drivers. Although Connecticut has several successful DUI laws aimed at deterring motorists from driving while drunk, a new policy is in the works to strengthen the consequences of driving under the influence for first offenders.

NEW INTERLOCK DEVICE POLICY

Currently, Connecticut requires those charged with multiple DUI offenses to use an ignition interlock device while driving. The device, which is wired directly into the ignition system of the vehicle, essentially locks the ignition until the driver supplies a clean breath sample. The breath sample is analyzed to determine the amount of alcohol present. If the blood alcohol level measures 0.02 percent or less, it will allow the car to start. During the ride, the driver will be required to submit subsequent breath samples periodically in order to continue operating the vehicle.

Although the current law mandates ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders, MADD is pushing Connecticut lawmakers to consider making ignition interlock devices mandatory for all DUI offenders, regardless of the number of times they have been charged with a DUI. The topic will be introduced at the General Assembly session in February.

CURRENT EFFORTS TO DETER DUI

Several efforts are being made by Connecticut police officers and policymakers to lower the number of DUI offenses, as well as injuries and lives lost to DUI car accidents.

  • Sobriety checkpoints.
  • Administrative license revocation.
  • Alcohol education programs.

Many view the consequences of a first-offense DUI too forgiving. The offender is ordered to take and successfully complete an alcohol education program and, upon completion, their record will be expunged from the offense. MADD and other state organizations argue that making the consequences of a first-time DUI offense more unpleasant, more motorists will be deterred from driving while drinking.

CALL AN ATTORNEY

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, it is important to call a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can help you navigate through the legal process. You deserve fair compensation for any property damage, medical bills and pain that you have endured. Not only can an experienced attorney help you claim the money you deserve, but they can help to comfort you through this overwhelming experience.