Updated: June 26, 2023 | Original Post: February 25, 2019
Two Strikes And You’re Out When It Comes To DUI and Your 2nd Amendment Rights
If you value exercising your Second Amendment rights, you need to understand how easily and quickly you could lose your concealed carry permit with a DUI. Your right to carry a firearm is just one of many rights, privileges, and opportunities at stake if you face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol in Colorado. A DUI conviction can cost you your ability to drive, chances at employment and educational opportunities, reputation, and even your freedom. All of these consequences are very real possibilities.
That is why you need to obtain an experienced Southern Colorado criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest for DUI. Your lawyer can protect your rights and will do everything possible to help you avoid the harsh penalties of a conviction, including losing your concealed carry permit with a DUI.
What You’ll Learn in This Post:
- Colorado law allows for broad concealed carry rights, but a DUI can put your concealed carry permit or application at risk.
- Two or more DUI or DWAI convictions within ten years can earn you the label of “chronic and habitual user of alcoholic beverages,” which makes you ineligible to hold a concealed carry permit.
- You can seek to have your concealed rights restored if you remain sober for three years, but there is no guarantee the county sheriff will grant your request.
Table of Contents
- Colorado Concealed Carry Law
- How Does a DUI Equal Chronic and Habitual Use of Alcohol?
- Revocation of Permit and Restoration of Rights After Losing Concealed Carry Permit With a DUI
- Aggressive Colorado Springs DUI Defense Attorney
Colorado Concealed Carry Law
Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-12-203 establishes the criteria for obtaining a concealed carry permit. Essentially, a Colorado sheriff must issue you a permit upon application if you are:
- A Colorado resident;
- 21 years of age or older; and
- Have demonstrated your competence with a handgun.
But those three simple requirements are subject to several explicit exceptions that could justify a sheriff’s denial of your application or revocation of your existing concealed carry permit. These include:
- Being subject to a current protective order
- Ineligibility to possess a firearm under federal law
- Lying on a concealed carry permit application
- Being an unlawful user of or having an addiction to a controlled substance
- The sheriff having a reasonable belief that documented previous behavior by you makes it likely that you will present a danger to yourself or others
- Chronically and habitually using alcoholic beverages to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired.
This last basis of “chronically and habitually” using a controlled substance to the extent that your judgment or normal faculties are impaired – puts you at risk of losing your concealed carry permit with a DUI conviction.
How Does a DUI Equal Chronic and Habitual Use of Alcohol?
Under Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-12-202, chronic and habitual use of alcohol – to the extent that the applicant or permit holder’s thinking and reasoning abilities are impaired – means:
- The applicant has at any time been committed as a person with an alcohol use disorder; or
- Within the ten years preceding the date of submittal of the permit application, the applicant has had two or more alcohol-related convictions in Colorado for DUI or DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) or similar convictions in another state; or
- Revocations related to a misdemeanor. Specifically, alcohol-related convictions (either in Colorado or another state) that demonstrate a safety hazard to the public and any person who refuses to submit to a BAC analysis as required by law.
Revocation of Permit and Restoration of Rights After Losing Concealed Carry Permit With a DUI
If you already have a concealed carry permit with a DUI and then get a second DUI conviction, the county sheriff who issued the permit can also take it away. If the sheriff reasonably believes that you “no longer meet” the criteria for issuance of a permit – and a second DUI conviction within ten years of your application means you don’t – the sheriff can revoke your concealed carry permit for an extended period at their discretion.
The loss of your concealed carry permit with a DUI may not be permanent, and you can seek to restore your right to carry a firearm if you can show that you have put your “chronic and habitual” use of alcoholic beverages (at least in the eyes of the State of Colorado) behind you. To do so, you will need to obtain and submit to the sheriff an affidavit, signed by a professional counselor or licensed addiction counselor who specializes in alcohol addiction, stating that the counselor has evaluated you and they have determined that you are a recovering alcoholic who has completely avoided using alcohol for at least three years.
Suppose a sheriff rejects your application or denies your request to restore your permit despite you providing the affidavit described above. In that case, they must notify you of their decision in writing, state the grounds for their decision, and inform you of your right to seek a second review by the sheriff, submit additional information for the record, and seek judicial review in court.
Of course, the best way to protect your concealed carry rights from the consequences of a DUI is not to get a DUI in the first place. But if you do face such charges, whether because the police made a mistake or because you made an error in judgment, you have rights and defenses that a skilled Colorado Springs DUI defense lawyer can assert. Having an advocate and ally on your side gives you the best chance to avoid the worst consequences of a conviction, including losing your concealed carry rights with a DUI.
James Newby Law: Aggressive Colorado Springs DUI Defense Attorney
At James Newby Law in Colorado Springs, our DUI defense attorneys use the experience and insight gained from being former DUI prosecutors on behalf of individuals facing the ordeal of DUI charges – including the consequences of a conviction such as losing your concealed carry permit with a DUI. We attack the prosecution’s case at every turn, looking for every possible weakness to put our clients in the best position to obtain favorable outcomes.