Hartford, CT- A drunken driving charge is a serious matter which is only made worse when the offender hits a police officer with their vehicle. That is a lesson a Granby man is learning the hard way after he struck a police officer assisting a stranded motorist on August 4th.

Officer Mark Garofalo was traveling on Route 10, Salmon Brook Street when he stopped to help a disabled tractor-trailer. Garofalo was standing outside his patrol car when he was struck by a passing vehicle.

Officer Garofalo was injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment; he was released later that day.

The driver of the vehicle, Daniel Kupruck, 31, Southwick, Massachusetts, was arrested for suspicion of operating under the influence. He was charged with driving without insurance, intoxicated driving, possession of drug paraphernalia and striking a police officer with a vehicle, according to the Hartford Courant.

A simple DUI, which does not involve a traffic collision or injury, can result in a minimum jail sentence of two days with a maximum of six months. A convicted driver will have their license suspended for at least one year and must do community service. The fines for a DUI can range from $500 to $1000.

If an intoxicated driving offender causes a traffic accident, which involves an injury or has high blood alcohol content, and are convicted their resulting fines and penalties could be significantly increased. They could be given the maximum jail sentence and additional fines.

Typically, a first DUI offense is treated as a misdemeanor; however, there are circumstances which could compel the court to increase an offender’s DUI charged to a felony. Those circumstances include blood alcohol level and causing a collision involving bodily harm along with the number of prior offenses or whether the offender was driving on a suspended or limited license.

If a driver has been charged with felony DUI and are convicted they become felons which means they will have a criminal record and will lose some of their rights such as the right to own a gun or to vote. Being a convicted felon can affect college admissions and future job prospects, so offenders should not make the mistake of thinking they can fight the charges without expert legal counsel.

Intoxicated driving charges, whether they are misdemeanors or felonies, are serious and costly both in the short and long term. Any person who is facing these charges should hire a Connecticut DUI attorney to help them build a strong legal defense.

An attorney is also capable of negotiating with prosecutors to have an offender’s charges or penalties reduced.

A skilled DUI attorney will examine all the circumstances surrounding their client’s arrest including an arresting officer’s probable cause for stopping the driver and the results from any breathalyzer, urine or blood test collected following an arrest. These are just an example of the many defenses a DUI attorney will employ to help their client avoid a conviction.

Don’t face DUI charges alone; contact a Connecticut DUI attorney as soon as you are able to discuss your case.