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Connecticut third toughest for drunk driving laws

WalletHub recently concluded a study to determine which state has the strictest drunk driving laws. Connecticut finished third behind Arizona and Alaska in the overall rankings. Connecticut ranked fifth in criminal penalties and eighth in drunk driving prevention.

Driving under the influence is a national scourge. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported that DUIs were involved in 31 percent of vehicle fatalities in the United States in 2012. Each year, impaired driving causes an estimated 10,000 fatalities. Drunk driving is also estimated to cost $60 billion each year in this county. Connecticut reported 100 deaths in 2012 and 114 in 2013 that were attributed to drunk driving accidents, according to the NHTSA.

In reaching its conclusions for 2015, WalletHub examined key metrics such as criminal penalties with emphasis on jail time, relationship of sentencing with blood alcohol content test results, grading of offenses and protection against child endangerment. Prevention measure analysis included ignition interlock requirements, administrative sanctions such as license suspension, use of mandatory alcohol assessment or treatment, required vehicle impound, the average increase of insurance premiums after a DUI and use of sobriety checkpoints in the state.

Connecticut may impose up to 2 days imprisonment for a first offense and 120 days for a second conviction. A third offense becomes an automatic felony. Previous drunk driving convictions may be considered in imposing penalties for up to 10 years. An administrative license suspension lasts 10 months.

Victims of an accident caused by a drunk driver and their families should seek prompt legal assistance to gather evidence and determine liability. Lack of legal knowledge may limit a victim's ability to obtain just and fair compensation.

Source: WalletHub, "Strictest and most lenient states on DUI," Retrieved Aug. 10, 2015

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