Connecticut bill to eliminate two-hour testing limit for DUIs

According to the Connecticut law, drivers are not allowed to drive while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), which is otherwise called as “operating under the influence” (OUI) in the Constitution State. In many cases, a motor vehicle driver will face possible driving under the influence charges in Connecticut if he/she is found to have an increased blood alcohol content (BAC) level while driving, which, according to state law said as a BAC of 0.08% or more. It is called the legal limit of driving.

Police typically conduct testing of a driver’s BAC level by getting a sample of blood, breath or urine to determine whether the BAC level of an individual is high or not. This testing must be done within 2 hours of driving under current Connecticut law. The two-hour limit is to ensure that alcohol testing is as accurate as possible when assessing a driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration level but earlier this month, a bill was introduced in the Connecticut legislature that if passed, will eliminate the time period of two-hours in DUI cases.

In Connecticut, the admissibility of alcohol testing in criminal proceedings is a serious matter. There are many safeguards given under the law that must first be met before a court can even consider a BAC test, which include the following:

  • The test must be done within 2 hours of the driver’s operation of a motor vehicle
  • The testing should be done by cops according to the methods prescribed and approved by the state
  • The device used to do the testing should be checked for accuracy
  • An additional test should be done 10 minutes after the first test for accuracy
  • The driver should be provided a reasonable opportunity to contact a lawyer before testing and he/she must consent to the test
  • After the test is done, a true copy of the results should be given to the driver within 24 hours or by the end of the next business day

If recently introduced Connecticut legislation is passed, the two-hour time limit will be eliminated. House Bill 5586 will allow alcohol test results to be accepted as proof if not taken within two hours if it is demonstrated that the “test results accurately indicate the blood alcohol content at the time of the alleged offense”. There is a negative thing in the bill that it is not mentioned in the text of the bill that how this burden of proof will be met and how the proposed change will affect road safety. This bill will snatch the protections from individuals charged with DUI.

With time, it will be seen whether this bill will gain support in favor or not. It certainly shows the battle faced by many of those charged with drunk driving in Connecticut.

If an individual is currently dealing with OUI/DUI charges, it is better to seek the counsel of a professional criminal defense lawyer in order to get knowledge of rights and options.

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