OUI Lawyer serving Eastern and Central Connecticut, including Hartford, Tolland, Windham, New London, and Middlesex Counties
Have you been charged with Operating Under the Influence (OUI) in Eastern or Central Connecticut? For an Immediate Consultation, Give J. Christopher Llinas at Llinas Law, LLC a Call 860-530-1781
You may had been drinking but felt well enough to drive. Before you knew it, you were sitting handcuffed in the backseat of a police patrol vehicle.
You may have made a bad decision. We all do.
And right now, you have a million questions running through your mind…
“Will my driver’s license be suspended?”
“How much money will this cost me in fines?”
“Will I have to go to jail?”
“If this goes on my permanent record, could it impact my current or future employment status?”
Operating Under the Influence (OUI) of alcohol and/or drugs is a serious offense that can have life-altering consequences, both before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and before the Courts. Before the DMV, you face the potential suspension of your driver’s license, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. And before the Courts, you face possible jail time, probation, fines, and court costs. That’s why you need an experienced and trusted criminal and traffic defense lawyer by your side.
J. Christopher Llinas at Llinas Law, LLC is a former prosecutor, public defender, and private defense attorney with over 20 years experience tackling tough cases. With that experience, he will listen carefully to the specifics of your drunk driving case, and work with you to craft a defense that attempts to provide you with the best possible outcome.
Call J. Christopher Llinas at Llinas Law, LLC today at 860-530-1781 for a FREE consultation.
Before the DMV
The Issues at the Hearing
Before the DMV, there are 4 key issues the hearing officer to consider in determining whether to suspend your driver’s license for either producing a blood alcohol content (BAC) result of 0.08 or refusing to submit to a BAC test (usually a breathalyzer):
- Whether the officer had probable cause to arrest you for OUI;
- Whether you were placed under arrest;
- Whether, within 2 hours of operation, you refused to submit to a BAC test or did submit and produced a result of 0.08 or more; and
- Whether you were operating a motor vehicle.
Relative to these 4 key issues, there are a number of defense strategies, often technical, that we may be able to pursue. Please keep in mind, however, that without knowing the details of your case, these may or not be relevant. These issues may include:
- Whether you were properly and fully advised of your administrative rights and the liabilities associated with your choice of whether or not to submit to a BAC test
- Whether you were properly advised of and taken through the regimen of field sobriety tests (FST’s)
- Whether the officer “dotted all his i’s and crossed all his t’s” relative to the applicable procedures and administrative paperwork associated with your case
- Whether the breathalyzer machine in your case was in proper working order, and was properly used utilized, in accord with manufacturer and departmental guidelines and procedures
- Whether you had a medical condition that caused you to be unable to provide a sufficient breath sample, despite your best efforts to do so
Possible Administrative Consequences
If you fail to request a DMV hearing, or, if you request one, and the DMV hearing officer concludes that in the affirmative on the 4 issues noted above, they will order that your license or privilege to drive in Connecticut be suspended for 45 days, and that this suspension then by followed by a period of time with an ignition interlock in your vehicle. That period depends on whether you submitted to the test or refused, and on whether you have any prior such offenses in the past, and can run anywhere from 6 months to 3 years in length.
Before the Court
Before the Court, there are also a variety of defense strategies we may be able to pursue, depending upon the specific facts of your case. These issues include:
Traffic Stop – Was there a valid reason to stop your car? The police officer can only stop you if they had probable cause to believe that you committed a traffic violation, or had reasonable articulable suspicion to believe a crime had been committed.
A motion to suppress evidence can be filed if there is a chance the traffic stop was illegal.
In other words, nothing that happened after you got pulled over (including breath and field sobriety tests) would be admissible in court.
Field Sobriety Tests– If there is a videotape of the arrest, this needs to go through a forensic analysis.
Did the police officer follow procedure? Did you have any physical problems that explain your difficulty with the field sobriety tests?
Arrest – Chemical tests are not error proof. In a breath test, the government needs to prove that it was operated by a licensed, qualified person and that the breathalyzer was in working order when it was administered.
Chemical Testing Sometimes, there is radio frequency interference that can affect the reading, from the police officer’s radio for example.
Additional ways the test may be inaccurate include mouth alcohol contamination which can happen if you belch 20 minutes prior to giving a sample.
You may suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disorder or chronic heartburn, or you may have had a fever at the time — all these conditions can affect the reading.
Blood samples are also not error proof. Test tube vials can be out of date or contaminated which can lead to a false result.
So, don’t lose hope! These are just a few of the ways we may be able to prove your innocence.