2009 Connecticut Code
Title 14 Motor Vehicles. Use of the Highway By Vehicles. Gasoline
Chapter 248 Vehicle Highway Use
Sec. 14-215. Operation while registration or license is refused, suspended or revoked. Penalty.

      Sec. 14-215. Operation while registration or license is refused, suspended or revoked. Penalty. (a) No person to whom an operator's license has been refused, or, except as provided in section 14-215a, whose operator's license or right to operate a motor vehicle in this state has been suspended or revoked, shall operate any motor vehicle during the period of such refusal, suspension or revocation. No person shall operate or cause to be operated any motor vehicle, the registration of which has been refused, suspended or revoked, or any motor vehicle, the right to operate which has been suspended or revoked.

      (b) (1) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall, for a first offense, be fined not less than one hundred fifty dollars or more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or be both fined and imprisoned, and, for any subsequent offense, shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars or more than six hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or be both fined and imprisoned.

      (2) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, in addition to the penalty prescribed under subdivision (1) of this subsection, any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section who (A) has, prior to the commission of the present violation, committed a violation of subsection (a) of this section or section 14-36 shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or sentenced to perform not more than one hundred hours of community service, or (B) has, prior to the commission of the present violation, committed two or more violations of subsection (a) of this section or section 14-36, or any combination thereof, shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year, ninety days of which may not be suspended or reduced in any manner.

      (c) (1) Any person who operates any motor vehicle during the period such person's operator's license or right to operate a motor vehicle in this state is under suspension or revocation on account of a violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a or section 53a-56b or 53a-60d or pursuant to section 14-227b, shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than one thousand dollars and imprisoned not more than one year, and, in the absence of any mitigating circumstances as determined by the court, thirty consecutive days of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced in any manner.

      (2) Any person who operates any motor vehicle during the period such person's operator's license or right to operate a motor vehicle in this state is under suspension or revocation on account of a second violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a or section 53a-56b or 53a-60d or for the second time pursuant to section 14-227b, shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than one thousand dollars and imprisoned not more than two years, and, in the absence of any mitigating circumstances as determined by the court, one hundred twenty consecutive days of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced in any manner.

      (3) Any person who operates any motor vehicle during the period such person's operator's license or right to operate a motor vehicle in this state is under suspension or revocation on account of a third or subsequent violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a or section 53a-56b or 53a-60d or for the third or subsequent time pursuant to section 14-227b, shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars or more than one thousand dollars and imprisoned not more than three years, and, in the absence of any mitigating circumstances as determined by the court, one year of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced in any manner.

      (4) The court shall specifically state in writing for the record the mitigating circumstances, or the absence thereof.

      (1949 Rev., S. 2420; 1957, P.A. 421; P.A. 82-258; P.A. 83-534, S. 3; P.A. 85-387, S. 2; P.A. 89-314, S. 3, 5; P.A. 97-291, S. 4, 5; P.A. 03-233, S. 2; P.A. 04-257, S. 100; P.A. 05-215, S. 4; P.A. 07-167, S. 23, 40.)

      History: P.A. 82-258 increased the minimum penalty for a first offense from $100 to $150, and increased the maximum penalty for a subsequent offense from $500 to $600 and from three months to one year imprisonment; P.A. 83-534 added Subsec. (c) re increased penalties when the reason for the suspension or revocation was operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence, refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test or manslaughter or assault with a motor vehicle while intoxicated; P.A. 85-387 amended Subsec. (c) to increase from 5 to 30 days the period of imprisonment which may not be suspended or reduced; P.A. 89-314 amended Subsec. (c) to replace reference to a suspension or revocation "on account of a violation of subsection (d) or (f) of section 14-227b" with "pursuant to section 14-227b" and to specify that the period of imprisonment which may not be suspended or reduced is 30 "consecutive" days; P.A. 97-291 amended Subsec. (c) to provide that the nonsuspendable sentence of 30 consecutive days is imposed in the absence of any mitigating circumstances as determined by the court and to require the court to specifically state in writing for the record the mitigating circumstances, or absence thereof, effective July 8, 1997; P.A. 03-233 amended Subsec. (a) to add "except as provided in section 14-215a"; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in Subsecs. (b) and (c), effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 05-215 amended Subsec. (b) to designate existing provisions as Subdiv. (1) and add Subdiv. (2) re additional penalties for persons who have one or more prior violations of Subsec. (a) or Sec. 14-36; P.A. 07-167 amended Subsec. (b)(2)(B) by changing penalty from term of imprisonment of 90 days which may not be suspended or reduced to term of imprisonment of one year, 90 days of which may not be suspended or reduced and amended Subsec. (c) by designating existing penalty provisions as Subdiv. (1), adding Subdivs. (2) and (3) re penalties for second, third and subsequent violations and designating existing provisions re court record of mitigating circumstances as Subdiv. (4).

      See Sec. 14-111(b), (h), (k) re suspension or revocation of driver's license.

      See Sec. 14-227h re impoundment of motor vehicle in certain cases.

      Cited. 159 C. 549. Cited. 209 C. 98. Cited. 226 C. 191. Cited. 234 C. 301. Defendant's knowledge that her license has been suspended is not an essential element of the crime of operating vehicle with a suspended license. 245 C. 442.

      Cited. 12 CA 338. Cited. 21 CA 496. Cited. 23 CA 50. Cited. 24 CA 438. Cited. 26 CA 716. Cited. 31 CA 797. Cited. 34 CA 557. Cited. 36 CA 710. Cited. 45 CA 12. Plain meaning of section is to give state authority to prosecute any person who operates a motor vehicle outside scope of work permit while license under suspension. 53 CA 23. Legislature did not include language within section indicating that a work permit issued pursuant to Sec. 14-37a is an affirmative defense to a violation of section. Id. One whose operator's license is under suspension violates section whenever he operates a motor vehicle, regardless of whether it is operated on public or private property. 72 CA 127.

      Suspension extends beyond period for which license issued. 16 CS 178. A person who manipulates the steering wheel as it is being pushed along a public highway by a second car is operating a motor vehicle within the meaning of this section. 22 CS 494. One who operates a car in this state while his right to operate remains under suspension may be convicted under this section, even though he has in the meantime moved to another state and obtained a license in that state. 23 CS 26. Cited. 24 CS 347. Arrest for violation of this statute did not justify search of car without a warrant. 25 CS 229. Cited. 36 CS 586. Cited. 38 CS 384; Id., 472. It is not obligatory for state to prove commissioner's action in suspending a license is valid where prosecution is for driving while under suspension. Time to contest validity of suspension is when it occurs. 39 CS 381.

      No conviction unless operation on public highway. 2 Conn. Cir. Ct. 79. Cited. Id., 520. Since a running engine means "operating" within the meaning of the statute, a turning off of the engine would be as much a part of operation. Id., 662. What constitutes a "public highway" for the purposes of a conviction under this section. Id. Cited. Id., 684. Cited. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 110; Id., 467; Id., 586. Cited. 4 Conn. Cir. Ct. 253; Id., 408. Operation of motor vehicle during period of license suspension not violation of statute when under direct order of police official. Id., 424, 428, 431. Ownership of vehicle not required element of violation. Id., 431. That suspension of driver's license was not known to him as notice of suspension was mailed to his last address after he had moved therefrom was no defense in a trial for violation of this section. 5 Conn. Cir. Ct. 72. That defendant obtained a provisional license while his license was suspended under this section is no defense. Id. Cited. Id., 161. Motorcycles are motor vehicles within the meaning of this statute and revocation of a license applies to motorcyclist's license as well as motor vehicle operator's license. Id., 219. Operation of motor vehicle, defined. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 639.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 216 C. 172. Cited. 229 C. 824.

      Cited. 19 CA 594. Cited. 30 CA 742.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 229 C. 824.

      Cited. 9 CA 686. Cited. 31 CA 797.

      Subsec. (c):

      Violation of statute was a "crime" for purposes of qualifying for alcohol abuse treatment program under Secs. 17a-648 to 17a-658, inclusive. 226 C. 191. Cited. 227 C. 914. Cited. 229 C. 824. Cited. 230 C. 427. Work permit exception under Sec. 14-37a constitutes an affirmative defense, for which defendant bears the burden of persuasion, to a violation of this subsection. 254 C. 107. Not unconstitutionally vague when applied to all-terrain vehicles; all-terrain vehicle is a motor vehicle for purposes of subsec. 281 C. 707.

      Cited. 9 CA 686. Violation is crime within purposes of Secs. 17a-648 through 17a-658. 27 CA 225. Cited. 32 CA 1. Cited. 40 CA 420; Id., 724. Cited. 45 CA 722. Statute not rendered unconstitutionally vague by Sec. 14-37a. 57 CA 541.


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