DUI Penalties

What are the DUI Penalties in Colorado?

The state of Colorado understands the severity of alcohol-related driving offenses and therefore imposes hefty DUI penalties in Colorado for anyone who drives while intoxicated.

Those who choose to drive after drinking may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI); the type of charge depends on the alcohol content in the bloodstream.

Anyone charged with DUI or DWAI faces severe penalties, including jail time, hefty fines, license revocation, points on a driver’s license, or court-ordered classes or community service. Below is a closer look at the penalties that come with each offense.

DUI vs. DWAI

It is essential to understand the difference between DUI and DWAI when looking at alcohol-related offenses. In Colorado, a DUI offense occurs when your blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher and/or the arresting officer has reason to believe that you have been drinking or taking drugs.

DWAI is a lesser offense that occurs when your blood alcohol content is .05 percent to .07 percent, but there is still reason to believe that you are driving while impaired.

DUI Penalties in Colorado

The severity of the penalty you receive if convicted of DUI depends on having prior alcohol-related driving offenses. The penalties are as follows:

First-Time DUI Conviction

A conviction for a first-time DUI in Colorado comes with a potential jail sentence (minimum five days / maximum one year); 12 points on your driver’s license; Fine of $600 – $1,000 plus court costs; License revocation for nine months; Two years probation; Mandatory public service for 48 to 96 hours; Level II alcohol education and therapy.

Second DUI Conviction

A conviction for a second DUI in Colorado can include a potential jail sentence (minimum ten days / maximum ten years); 12 points on your driver’s license; Fine of $600 to $1,500 plus court costs; license revocation for one year; Two years probation; Mandatory public service for 48 to 120 hour’s Level II alcohol education and therapy.

Third DUI Offense

For your third DUI conviction you will face a potential jail sentence (minimum 60 days / maximum one year); 12 points on your driver’s license; Fine of $600 to $1,500 plus court costs; License revocation for two years; Two years probation Mandatory public service for 48 to 120 hours; Level II alcohol education and therapy

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)

While DWAI is a lesser offense than DUI, it can still carry significant penalties such as the following:

First DWAI

Potential jail sentence (minimum two days / maximum 180 days); Eight points on your driver’s license; Fine of $200 to $500; Two-year probation; Mandatory public service of 24 to 48 hours; Level II alcohol education and therapy.

Second DWAI

Potential jail sentence (minimum ten days / maximum one year); Eight points on your driver’s license; Fine of $600 to $1,500 plus court costs; Revocation of your driver’s license for one year; Two years probation; Mandatory public service of 48 to 120 hours; Level II alcohol education and therapy.

Third DWAI

Potential jail sentence (minimum 60 days / maximum 180 days); Eight points on your driver’s license; Fine of $600 to $1,500 plus court costs; Revocation of your driver’s license for two years; Two years probation; Mandatory public service of 48 to 120 hours; Level II alcohol education and therapy.

Consequences Beyond the Above DUI Penalties

The DUI penalties above are just part of the pain that comes with a DUI conviction. There are numerous expenses, fees, limitations and time commitments that will accompany you along your DUI conviction journey. Here are a few examples.

Interlock

The Colorado courts may slap you with an Interlock restricted license, which is both expensive and a major hassle. This annoying little device will cost thousands of dollars over 2-3 years to install, maintain, calibrate and install. Beyond the cost, the monthly monitoring visit can require you to spend 2-3 hours waiting for your turn to get your car hooked up to the monitoring equipment.

Employment Limitations

Thinking about making a few extra bucks working for Uber or Lyft to pay off your DUI expenses? Think again. These car-based services will not hire you if you have a DUI on your record within the last 5-7 years.

Higher Insurance

Many people forget about the increases in car insurance that always follow a DUI conviction. In Colorado, a DUI will raise your annual car insurance premium by an average of $601.

How to Reduce or Avoid DUI Penalties

The best strategy for minimizing the impact of DUI penalties on your life and future is to work with the best DUI attorney in Colorado Springs you can find. An experienced and aggressive attorney can raise many defenses to reduce and even drop your DUI charges.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Don’t Let a DUI Ruin Your Life 

Unless you are willing to accept the maximum DUI penalties, it is in your best interests to hire a qualified DUI attorney in Colorado Springs to assist you with your DUI defense options.

I know from being on both sides of DUI cases that no matter how grim a situation may look, no matter how much it may seem that prosecutors have you dead to rights, there are almost always ways to fight the charges.

A local DUI attorney in Colorado Springs knows how to challenge your DUI charges, including the pursuit of case dismissal, plea bargain negotiations, and trying the case in court.

The smartest thing you can do right now is speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado Springs. The call and initial consultation are free so you have nothing to lose.  Schedule the call now.