Connecticut now requires alcohol tests in serious accidents

| 10/2/2003

A new law in Connecticut requires any driver involved in a serious accident to submit to a breath or blood alcohol test.

The new law, which passed the General Assembly in June as HB6698, became effective Oct. 1. It is now listed as Public Act 03-265. Before the law went into effect, the tests could be refused, but if they were, the driver would face a license suspension.

The bill contains a number of other provisions related to drinking and driving. For example, it allows courts to order the installation of ignition interlock devices – which require a breath test that shows no alcohol in the driver’s system – as part of a sentence for drunken driving.

It also allows the state to confiscate the vehicles of a person who is convicted of drunken driving while under suspension for a previous drunken driving incident.

The hospitals who treat accident victims would also be in affect. The act would require those hospitals to turn over the medical records of a driver who was involved in an accident that resulted in physical injury or death if those records were requested by a police officer.

In addition, the provisions apply to drivers who are impaired by drugs.

Connecticut law already requires a blood alcohol level test for anyone killed in an accident. The new law simply extends the requirement to people who survive such an accident if an officer has probable cause to think they are drunk.