Connecticut's Reckless Driving Laws and Penalties

Read about Connecticut’s reckless driving laws and the consequences of a conviction.

In Connecticut, “reckless driving” is a crime. Generally, a person can be convicted of reckless driving for operating a vehicle:

  • in a manner that puts others at significant risk and with an awareness of that risk
  • at a speed that endangers the life of another, or
  • at over 85 miles per hour.

In assessing whether a motorist’s driving meets the definition of recklessness, a judge or jury might consider factors like road, weather, and traffic conditions.

Reckless Driving Penalties

The consequences of a reckless driving conviction depend on the circumstances. But the possible penalties are:

  • First offense. A first reckless driving conviction is a class D misdemeanor. Convicted motorists face up to 30 days in jail and/or $100 to $300 in fines. The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles will also suspend the driver’s license for 30 to 90 days.
  • Repeat offense. A second or subsequent reckless driving conviction is a class A misdemeanor. A conviction carries up to a year in jail and/or a maximum $600 in fines. The driver is also looking at a license suspension of at least 90 days.

And for any reckless driving offense that's committed in a construction zone, the fines are doubled.

Reckless Driving and OUI Charges (“Wet Reckless”)

In Connecticut, it’s possible for a driver who’s charged with operating under the influence (OUI), sometimes called driving under the influence (DUI), to plea bargain for a lesser charge. When an OWI is plea-bargained down to a reckless driving charge, it’s sometimes called a “wet reckless.”

Talk to an Attorney

The consequences of a reckless driving conviction in Connecticut can be serious, especially if the driver has prior convictions. If you’ve been arrested for or charged with reckless driving, get in contact with an experienced defense attorney. A qualified attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on how best to handle your situation.

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