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Connecticut Implied Consent Law

April 26, 2024Articles

Like all states, Connecticut considers driving a privilege. When a Connecticut motorist obtains a driver’s license, they give their implied consent—or permission—to submit to blood alcohol testing (BAC) upon request by law enforcement officers. Anyone driving on Connecticut’s roads also gives implied consent to testing. The parents of driving minors give implied consent for their child. Refusing to submit to a BAC test comes with immediate consequences. In some circumstances, law enforcement officers can force a person to submit to a blood alcohol test through a warrant even after a suspect refuses a breathalyzer test.

It’s important to understand Connecticut’s implied consent law and the consequences of a refusal.

What Does Implied Consent Cover in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, a BAC of .08 or higher indicates a level of intoxication that impacts the ability to drive safely, warranting drunk driving charges. When a Connecticut law enforcement officer suspects a driver is intoxicated, the driver’s implied consent from driving on Connecticut roadways permits a roadside breathalyzer or the testing of blood or urine at the police station. Refusing to comply with a law enforcement officer who requests a breathalyzer comes with significant penalties.

The Importance of Proper Procedure In Implied Consent

While it’s true that all Connecticut drivers give implied consent, law enforcement officers must follow proper procedures when asking a suspect to submit to BAC testing through breath, urine, or blood. Under Connecticut  § 14-227b, the law states the following:

“A police officer who has placed a person under arrest for a violation of section 14-227a, 14-227m or subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of section 14-227n may request that such person submit to a blood, breath or urine test at the option of the police officer…”


Section 14-227b goes on to state that arresting officers must follow the following procedure:

  • First, they must place the suspect under arrest for suspected DUI
  • Then, they must read the suspect their constitutionally protected rights
  • Next, the officer requests that the suspect takes the officer’s choice of BAC test, whether it’s a breathalyzer, blood or urine test
  • The officer must inform the suspect of the consequences of refusing the test and then allow the suspect an appropriate amount of time to call their attorney
  • Before administering the test, the officer must inform the suspect that the test results may be used against them in criminal proceedings
  • The law enforcement officer must make a written note on their procedural report that they’ve followed the above steps

Finally, the officer performs the test on the subject either through a roadside breathalyzer or blood or urine testing at the police station. If the suspect’s BAC is .08 or higher, the state prosecutes the suspect for the crime of drunk driving.

What Happens if a DUI Suspect Refuses a BAC Test?

Despite the fact that every driver who operates a motor vehicle on Connecticut roadway gives implied consent to testing, some drivers refuse to abide by their implied consent and don’t take the test. In this case, they face the following consequences:

  • Automatic 24-hour suspension of their driver’s license and confiscation of their license
  • The police make a report of the suspect’s refusal to take a test and the report is signed by a witness to the refusal (typically another officer)
  • The report is sent to the DMV for review and possible longer suspension of the driver’s license
  • The suspect receives a letter with the suspension notice and a hearing date if they wish to fight the license suspension

At the hearing, the police must present evidence that they had probable cause to pull the suspect over, that the suspect requested a BAC test through the proper procedure, and that the suspect refused to consent to testing. Unless an attorney can effectively demonstrate that the arresting officer did not follow procedure, the state suspends the license for three years. Those who have had two or more previous DUI convictions lose their license for three years automatically upon refusing a BAC test.