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Underage Drunk Driving in Connecticut

A driver under the age of 21 may not operate a motor vehicle if his blood alcohol content is .02 or higher.  A driver under age 21 who is found to have a blood alcohol content of .02 is given the same criminal punishment as a driver over the age of 21 whose blood alcohol content is .08 or higher, except that his license may be suspended for a longer time.  If the underage driver has been convicted of his second offense, his license is suspended for three years or until he turns 21, whichever is longer.  A driver over 21 can have his license suspended for a year following a conviction for his second offense.

Administrative penalties are enhanced for drivers under the age of 21.  The law states that in most cases, the DMV has the authority to suspend an underage driver’s license for twice the as long as would be permitted for a driver over the age of 21.  If the driver is 16 or 17 and has committed his first offense, the DMV will suspend his license for one year.  This suspension is extended to 18 months if the driver refused to take a blood alcohol content test.

The underage driver is subject to the implied consent law and is deemed to have consented to having his blood alcohol tested as a condition of driving on the roads of the state.  If the driver is a minor under the age of 18, the driver’s parents are assumed to have given consent.

Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a crime for which youthful offender status is unavailable.  This means that the underage driver will not be able to take advantage of the privacy protections available to youthful offenders nor will he be able to have his records be automatically erased.

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