Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Denver often leads to accidents that have tragic consequences. For this reason, the DUI laws in Colorado are strictly enforced and the penalties can be harsh, including loss of driving privileges, jail time, probation and fines.
At The Blair Law Office, we understand that people make mistakes, and those arrested for DUI need an experienced attorney to protect their rights. We are well versed in the state’s drunk driving laws and have a proven track record of successfully defending these cases.
DUI Offenses in Denver Colorado
There are two different alcohol-related offenses in the state: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) and driving while ability is impaired (DWAI). These offenses are determined by the blood alcohol concentration in a person’s body (BAC), and there is a difference between “per se” violations and ordinary DUI charges.
In an ordinary DUI charge, the court will consider whether you were affected by an intoxicant to the point where you were incapable of operating a vehicle. If your BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08, however, you will be charged with per se DUI.
The legal limit for DWAI is 0.05, and you can be arrested for probable cause based solely on observations of the police. Moreover, there is zero tolerance for drunk driving by those under the age of 21, and the BAC limit is 0.02.
Lastly, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs (DUID), regardless of whether they are illegal or prescription drugs. A person convicted of DUID will face the same penalties as one who is convicted of DUI.
DUI/DWAI Penalties for Denver Residents
In Colorado, being arrested for drunk driving can lead to both administrative and criminal penalties.
Even if you are not convicted, Administrative Penalties can lead to the automatic suspension of your license by the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you are arrested with a BAC of 0.08, or you have requested a chemical test, you must request a hearing with the DMV within seven days of the date of your arrest. If you fail to do so, your license will be automatically suspended.
Criminal Penalties – DWAI
DWAI is generally a misdemeanor which carries penalties including jail time, fines, community service and 8 points on your DMV driving record.
Criminal Penalties – DUI
Driving under the influence is charged as a misdemeanor, however, the penalties are elevated for repeat offenders. Penalties include jail time, fines, license suspension, community service, and an ignition interlock device for a subsequent conviction after a first offense. For a first offense with a BAC over 0.20, mandatory jail applies.
In addition, a Class 4 Felony can be charged after 3 or more prior DUI or DWAI convictions, or for vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter. A conviction can lead to a penalty of 2 to 6 years in prison plus mandatory parole of 3 years.
If you are convicted of DUI or DWAI, you may be placed on probation in addition to, or in lieu of, a prison sentence. The term for a first offense is typically one year, but probation can last up to 2 years.
There are a number of conditions of being on probation including, but not limited to, submitting to random drug and alcohol tests, refraining from drinking alcohol or going to bars and clubs, attending DUI education courses as well as therapy sessions. A person who violates probation may be subjected to jail time.
Colorado Express Consent Law
Any person who drives a motor vehicle in the state is required to submit to a test of his or her breath or blood by law enforcement if there is probable cause that he or she was driving under the influence. Failure to do so will lead to an automatic one year suspension of driving privileges.
Bold & Aggressive DUI Defense
The Blair Law Office routinely represents clients who have been charged with DUI/DWAI. The firm has extensive experience handling these cases and is committed to winning acquittals. We will obtain and question police reports, medical records and any other evidence. Depending on the circumstances, we can also ask the court to reduce the charges. Being convicted for driving under the influence can have long lasting consequences. Contact a Denver DUI defense attorney that services Adams County, Arapahoe County and Jefferson County.