As a Connecticut driver, you likely have heard the “do not drink and drive” mantra your entire life. But do you always heed this warning?

AlcolockUSA.com reports that in 2017, Connecticut logged the highest alcohol-related fatal accident rate of any state in the nation according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The shocking drunk driving statistics include the following:

  • Connecticut saw 120 fatal motor vehicle accidents in which one or more of the drivers had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08%.
  • In 75% of these fatal accidents, one or more of the drivers had a BAC of over 0.15%; i.e., twice the legal limit.
  • An overwhelming number of the drunk drivers represented repeat offenders.
  • Drunk driving deaths increased by 3.5% from 2016 to 2017.
  • Law enforcement officers arrested 8.228 people for operating under the influence.

Increased penalties

In an effort to combat Connecticut’s massive drunk driving problem, the Judiciary Committee of the State Senate proposed earlier this year that the state increase penalties for repeat drunk driving offenders. Consequently, you could face up to three years in prison for a second OUI conviction and up to five years for a third OUI conviction.

Ignition interlock laws

Ever since 2015, Connecticut law has mandated the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle if you receive an OUI conviction. The same mandate applies if you refuse to undergo a breath, blood or urine test when officers pull you over for an alleged OUI, whether or not you receive a subsequent conviction.

While you should not interpret this general educational information as legal advice, it can help you understand the dangers that drunk driving pose in Connecticut and the penalties you could face should you choose to drive while under the influence.