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What Connecticut drivers should know about DUI

Drunk driving is a crime and a lethal danger to other motorists in Connecticut. The state suffered 85 fatalities from drunk driving accidents in 2012, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Because of the criminal and civil consequences associated with this reckless behavior, Connecticut drivers should know a little more about this crime.

DUI, of course, refers to driving under the influence, which is punishable in Connecticut by license suspension, mandatory alcohol and treatment assessment program participation, ignition interlock requirements and possible imprisonment. Other consequences may include more expensive insurance rates, legal fees, time away from work and other expenses.

The acronym FST refers to a field sobriety test. Police use these tests to help determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. These are often comprised of a series of tests that allow a law enforcement officer to observe a motorist's balance, level of attention and other physical movements.

A BAC refers to a driver's blood alcohol concentration. This is the legal measurement of the level of alcohol in a driver's blood at a particular time. In Connecticut, a level over .08 is illegal.

A motorist grants implied consent to submit to certain sobriety tests by merely having a driver's license. Refusing to take these tests at a DUI stop can lead to penalties.

An ignition interlock device may be installed on a vehicle operated by a driver convicted of drunk driving. This device measure a driver's BAC. If the BAC exceeds a certain level, the car becomes inoperable.

Driving under the influence is illegal and dangerous and can cause serious injuries and even death. Victims of an impaired driver should seek advice to assure that their rights are protected and that they have the opportunity to determine liability and obtain compensation for losses suffered in these accidents.

Source: FindLaw, "5 DUI terms every driver should know," Daniel Taylor, Aug. 7, 2014

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