Your Second Drunk Driving Conviction Will Be Even Worse Than Your First
If you thought your first conviction for driving under the influence in Colorado came with harsh penalties, your second DUI in Colorado puts you at risk for even more imposing consequences. If you are convicted of a second DUI, you are classified by Colorado law as a “persistent drunk driver,” and El Paso and Teller County prosecutors will make every effort to penalize you to the fullest extent possible.
Not All Misdemeanors Are Created Equal
Most second-time DUIs in Colorado, if they don’t involve injury or death, are misdemeanors. But not all misdemeanors are created equal, nor do they all have the same consequences. Every subsequent DUI conviction after your first is an increasingly serious crime, with harsher punishments.
Both first and second DUIs can involve fines, jail time, loss or limitations on driving privileges, community service, alcohol education classes, and other penalties. However, a judge will often waive some aspects of a first DUI conviction, particularly jail time, as part of a suspended sentence. But don’t expect such leniency your second time around.
Mandatory Jail Time
Perhaps the most significant distinction between your first and second DUI in Colorado is the probability that you will spend some time behind bars. A second DUI conviction comes with a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail, with the potential for up to a full year of incarceration.
Additional possible penalties for a second DUI in Colorado include:
- A fine of up to $1,500;
- Revocation of your driver’s license for 12 months;
- Up to 120 hours of community service;
- Probation for up to four years;
- Alcohol education classes.
Designation as a “Persistent Drunk Driver”
As previously noted, a second DUI conviction in Colorado will also earn you the unwanted designation of a “persistent drunk driver.” This unfortunate label comes with its own set of penalties, including:
- Level II alcohol education classes (which are significantly longer in duration than the Level I classes required for your first DUI) and treatment program at your own expense;
- Mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) for at least two years in order to reinstate your driver’s license, the monthly cost of which will also be your responsibility;
- Proof of financial responsibility (SR-22 insurance coverage) for at least two years.
Your 2nd DUI In Colorado Is a Felony If You Injured or Killed Someone
Not all second DUIs in Colorado are misdemeanors. El Paso County prosecutors will charge and seek to convict you of felony vehicular assault if you were responsible for a serious bodily injury to another person while driving under the influence. DUI-related vehicular assault is a Class 4 felony that can lead to a prison sentence of two to six years, three years of mandatory parole, and fines ranging from $2,000 to $500,000.
Similarly, if you killed someone while driving under the influence, you will face DUI-related vehicular homicide charges for your second DUI. A Class 3 felony, vehicular homicide comes with penalties that include four to 12 years in state prison, five years of mandatory parole, and a fine of between $3,000 and $750,000.
Your 1st DUI Counts No Matter How Long Ago It Occurred Or Where It Happened
Even if your first DUI conviction happened decades ago or in another state, Colorado prosecutors will consider it when bringing new charges and seeking a conviction for a second DUIs. Unlike some neighboring states, Colorado does not have a “look-back” period, and any prior DUI conviction, however old, makes your latest one your second DUI.
Not All Consequences of a 2nd DUI in Colorado Come From The Court
The fallout from a second DUI conviction doesn’t all come from the criminal justice system. Your conviction will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life with no opportunity to expunge or remove it. This can cost you employment, educational and financial opportunities, loss of your right to possess a firearm, and result in increased car insurance premiums, among other consequences.
Don’t Face The Consequences Of A 2nd DUI in Colorado By Yourself
If you have been charged with your second DUI in Colorado, you need an aggressive and experienced DUI defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible. Trying to fight these charges on your own puts your finances, freedom, and future all at risk.
By contacting Colorado Springs DUI attorneys at James Newby Law, you gain the insights and experience of former DUI prosecutors to protect your rights, whether it is your first, second, or subsequent DUI offense. Attacking every aspect of the prosecution’s case, they will aggressively and strategically fight the allegations against you and put you in the best position to obtain a positive outcome.