Connecticut's Drugged Driving Law

Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s drugged driving law is found at Section 14-227a of the Connecticut General Statutes. It states “No person shall operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or both.” In other words, in Connecticut it’s a crime to drive while impaired from drug use. No blood testing standard is established in Connecticut – that is, there is no fixed amount of drugs within the blood system that determines conviction. Whether a driver is impaired is determined on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the prosecutor. Connecticut prosecutors seek to prove that a driver’s mental, physical or nervous processes have become so affected that the driver “loses, to some degree, the ability to control and operate a motor vehicle.”

What drugs are prohibited?

Connecticut’s drugged driving law is directed broadly at “any drug,” including but not limited to controlled substances. Controlled substances are any drug or chemical regulated by the government. A listing of controlled substances regulated by federal law are found at the Drug Enforcement Administration website. It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use the controlled substance, and that includes medical marijuana users.

What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in Connecticut?

A driver arrested for drugged driving in Connecticut will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about Connecticut’s DUI laws.

Do Connecticut drivers have to submit to drug testing?

Yes, there is an implied consent rule for breath, blood, and urine testing for drugged drivers. The refusal to take the test can be admitted into evidence against the driver.

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