Connecticut Drunk Driving Laws in 2023: How Much Alcohol Can You Drink and Drive?

Drink and drive laws in Connecticut

Connecticut’s legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08% or 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. If you are under 21, a BAC of 0.02% or higher is illegal.

The 0.08% limit equates to one to two standard-size alcoholic beverages. But, depending on a person’s gender, age, height, and other variables, this amount may vary.

Please be aware that this post aims to inform readers about Connecticut’s drunk driving laws. This page does not intend to encourage drunk driving in any location or state.

According to figures from 2020, there were 295 traffic-related fatalities in Connecticut, and 40% of those were brought on by drunk drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08% or higher and 26% by those who had 0.15% or higher.

Driving under the influence, often known as DUI, is illegal in Connecticut and entails severe consequences. Connecticut has DUI laws to combat drunk driving in the state.

Before driving a vehicle, it’s essential to comply with Connecticut’s legal BAC limit. If you must drive after drinking, consider calling a taxi or using a designated driver.

Visit Connecticut’s official website to keep up with the latest DUI driving laws and rules.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Connecticut

If your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or greater, you could be charged with DUI in Connecticut. If drivers under the age of 21 are found operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or greater, they will be punished.

Since alcohol has varied effects on different people, blood alcohol levels may differ from one person to another. Even a tiny amount of alcohol might make some people feel disoriented.

Many factors, including your weight, gender, level of exhaustion, and amount of alcohol consumed, may affect your BAC.

To discover how much alcohol you can drink before driving a vehicle, use a BAC calculator or chart. You have to be aware that these tools might not benefit everyone since everyone reacts to alcohol differently.

The most precise way to calculate your BAC is to use a certified alcohol breathalyzer.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Connecticut

Every state has a different set of laws regarding drunk driving. Checking your blood alcohol level before driving is essential to avoid repercussions.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI), sometimes known as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) or OUI (Operating Under the Influence), is a crime in the state of Connecticut and involves operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or substances.

It is possible to prosecute this charge with and without specific BAC evidence. Whether a person’s ability to drive has been compromised will be the deciding factor.

You may face administrative and judicial consequences if you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated.

Below is an overview of Connecticut’s DUI driving punishments.

Implied Consent

Due to Connecticut’s “implied consent” rule, operating a motor vehicle within the state constitutes consent to a driver’s blood, breath, or urine being chemically analyzed to check for alcohol, narcotics, or other restricted substances. Driver’s license privileges may be suspended if the chemical analysis is rejected.

Administrative and Criminal Penalties

Offense Punishment
First Offense
  • 48 hours (or 100 hours of community service) up to 6 months of jail time
  • $500 to $1,000 fine
  • 45 days license suspension
  • IID installation for one year
Second Offense
  • Minimum of 120 days but not more than two years of jail time
  • 100 hours of community service
  • $1,000 to $4,000 fine
  • 45 days license suspension
  • Installation of IID for three years
Third Offense
  • One to three years of jail time
  • $2,000 to $8,000 fine
  • Permanent revocation of driver’s license
  • Must wait for a hearing for reconsideration for at least two years after the revocation date.


Any person convicted of an OUI for the second or subsequent time must undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation. Depending on the findings, the convicted party can be required to take part in therapy or other rehabilitation activities.

Community Service

For a first offense of OUI, the punishment may include 100 hours of community service; for a second or subsequent offense, it is mandatory to have 100 hours of community service.

When Can You Drink and Drive in Connecticut?

Alcohol has diverse effects on different people, as already mentioned. In addition, the BACs of men and women differ.

Men’s bodies have more alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) than women do. These enzymes contribute to men’s rapid alcohol metabolism since they primarily help with alcohol absorption. As a result, men metabolize alcohol more swiftly than women.

For a basic guide on how much alcohol you can lawfully drink before driving in Connecticut, see the information below.

The gathered parameters below are based on studies, but because different people react to alcohol in various ways, they might not apply to everyone.

How Many Bottles of Beers Can You Drink and Drive in Connecticut?

Drink beer and drive in Connecticut

Based on a person’s weight and amount of alcohol ingested, BAC charts determine their post-alcohol BAC. These charts demonstrate that after consuming alcohol, BAC is typically greater among lighter individuals.

According to a BAC chart, a man weighing around 72 kg (160 lbs) can have a BAC of 0.02% after consuming one 12-ounce (350 ml) beer.

However, a girl with the same weight and beer consumption can have a BAC of 0.03%.

Hence, one to two beer bottles are sufficient to keep one’s blood alcohol content within Connecticut’s allowed limit.

How Many Glasses of Wine Can You Consume and Drive in Connecticut?

A typical wine glass (142 ml/5 oz) can contain up to 12% ABV. Similar to the last example, two glasses of wine is enough to meet the permitted BAC level in Connecticut.

How Much Whiskey or Vodka Can You Drink and Drive in Connecticut?

A shot of liquor like whiskey or vodka has a capacity of 44 ml (1.5 oz) and can contain up to 40% alcohol by volume. Excessive drinking of distilled spirits might have disastrous effects if you intend to drive later due to their high alcohol content.

A shot or two of whiskey or vodka should keep you under Connecticut’s legal BAC limit if you really must drive after drinking.

Sticking to Impaired Driving Laws in Connecticut

Every driver must know the risks associated with drunk driving.

Avoiding driving after drinking is the most sensible and safest choice. Even if you only drank a few beers, your blood alcohol level and driving ability is never guaranteed.

As every individual processes alcohol differently, only an alcohol breathalyzer can reliably determine your BAC level.

Look into different modes of transportation if you are intoxicated. You could request a ride from a friend, book an Uber, or take a taxi.

If you need to drive after drinking, be sure your blood alcohol level is below Connecticut’s legal limit by checking it using a reliable alcohol breathalyzer before you get behind the wheel.

Also, it is best to familiarize yourself with Connecticut’s DUI driving laws by visiting the state’s official website.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.