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Driving Under the Influence with a Minor

by Joseph C. Maya on Aug. 11, 2017

Criminal DUI-DWI Criminal 

Summary: A blog post about the crime of driving drunk with a child as a passenger.

For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, please call the offices of Maya Murphy, P.C. today at (203) 221-3100 or Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

The penalties under Connecticut law are severe for operators who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and become progressively more severe depending upon the number of previous alcohol/drug related convictions, and the concentration of alcohol in the operator’s blood stream at the time of motor vehicle operation.  However, it is an additional aggravating factor – and a more severe crime – when an individual operates a motor vehicle under the influence of any drug or alcohol while a child under the age of eighteen (18) is a passenger in the vehicle. (C.G.S. § 14-227m).

What is “Elevated Blood Alcohol Content”?

Under Section 14-227m, “elevated blood alcohol content,” means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is eight-hundredths of one percent or more of alcohol (.08%), by weight, except that if such person is operating a commercial motor vehicle, “elevated blood alcohol content,” means a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is four-hundredths of one percent (.04%) or more of alcohol, by weight.  If such person is under twenty-one (21) years of age, “elevated blood alcohol content” is defined as a ratio of alcohol in the blood of such person that is two-hundredths of one percent (.02%) or more of alcohol by weight.

What Will Happen if I’m Convicted Under Section 14-227m?

If convicted of driving under the influence under Connecticut General Statutes, § 14-227m, an individual will face some of the most severe penalties for any motor vehicle crime.  Any person who is convicted of a first offense shall:

(A) be fined not less than five hundred dollars ($500), or more than two thousand dollars ($2,000),

(B) be imprisoned not more than one (1) year, thirty (30) consecutive days of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring, as a condition of such probation that such person: (i) perform one hundred (100) hours of community service, (ii) submit to an assessment through the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch of the degree of such person’s alcohol or drug abuse, (iii) undergo a treatment program, including chemical screening, if so ordered, (iv) submit to an interview and evaluation by the Department of Children and Families to assess any ongoing risk posed to any child who was a passenger in the motor vehicle at the time of the violation, and (v) cooperate with any programming, treatment, directives or plan if so ordered by the Department of Children and Families; and

(C) have such operator’s driver’s license, or nonresident operating privilege suspended for forty-five (45) days and, as a condition for the restoration of such license, be required to install an ignition interlock device on each motor vehicle owned or operated by the operator, and, upon such restoration, be prohibited for the one (1) year period following the restoration from operating a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning, approved ignition interlock device.

What Will Happen if I am Convicted a Second Time?

If an operator is convicted of C.G.S. § 14-227m for a second time, not later than ten (10) years after a prior conviction for the same offense, the operator shall:

(A) be fined not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or more than four thousand dollars ($4,000),

(B) be imprisoned not more than three (3) years, one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring as a condition of such probation that such person: (i) perform one hundred (100) hours of community service; (ii) submit to an assessment through the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch of the degree of such operator’s alcohol or drug abuse, (iii) undergo a treatment program, including chemical screening, if so ordered, (iv) submit to an interview and evaluation by the Department of Children and Families to assess any ongoing risk posed to any child who was a passenger in the motor vehicle at the time of the violation, and (v) cooperate with any programming, treatment, directives or plan if so ordered by the Department of Children and Families; and

(C) have such operator’s  driver’s license, or nonresident operating privilege suspended for forty-five (45) days and, as a condition for the restoration of such license, be required to install an ignition interlock device on each motor vehicle owned or operated by such person and, upon such restoration, be prohibited for three (3) years following the restoration, from operating a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning, approved ignition interlock device.  For the first year of the three (3) year period, the individual’s operation of a motor vehicle shall be limited to such transportation to or from work or school, an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program, an ignition interlock device service center, a treatment program ordered by the Department of Children and Families, or an appointment with a probation officer or Department of Children and Families caseworker.

What Will Happen if I am Convicted More Than Two Times?

If an operator is convicted of C.G.S. § 14-22m for a third or subsequent time, not later than ten (10) years after a prior conviction for the same offense, the operator shall:

(A) be fined not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000), or more than eight thousand dollars ($8,000),

(B) be imprisoned not more than five (5) years, two (2) years of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner, and sentenced to a period of probation requiring as a condition of such probation that the operator: (i) perform one hundred (100) hours of community service, (ii) submit to an assessment through the Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch of the degree of such person’s alcohol or drug abuse, (iii) undergo a treatment program, including chemical screening, if so ordered, (iv) submit to an interview and evaluation by the Department of Children and Families to assess any ongoing risk posed to any child who was a passenger in the motor vehicle at the time of the offense, and (v) cooperate with any programming, treatment, directives or plan if so ordered by the Department of Children and Families; and

(C) have such person’s motor vehicle operator’s license or nonresident operating privilege permanently revoked.

In sum, the State of Connecticut takes very seriously any illegal operation of a motor vehicle in which a child is a passenger.

If you have been arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence – especially with a minor passenger – contact the experienced criminal law attorneys today at 203-221-3100, or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com.  We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients throughout Connecticut and all of Fairfield County, from Greenwich and Stamford to Westport and Bridgeport.


Source: C.G.S. Â§ 14-227m

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