In Colorado, there are very strict laws with harsh penalties for those who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI). The reason for such harsh penalties is because driving drunk is dangerous to not only yourself, but other drivers, pedestrians and innocent bystanders if something goes wrong. If you are impaired, your reaction times are slower, your hand eye coordination is less than ideal and the task of driving safely is greatly reduced so make sure to stay sober when you have to drive or you could end up facing a judge for your drunken decisions.
In the unfortunate event that you do get pulled over or arrested, make sure to get in touch with our Colorado Springs DUI attorneys right away so we can help you through the process and keep you from incriminating yourself.
Also, it is important to note that the penalties, laws, and administrative punishments are subject to change. Please don’t use this article as a substitute for legal advice. As always, our consultations with experienced attorneys are 100% FREE.
If you enjoy having a drink when you go out sometimes, it is very important to clearly understand the DUI and DWAI laws here in Colorado. The law states that driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .07 or below is legal and not punishable by law unless the driver is under 21 years of age or is on a court ordered alcohol free program. So any BAC level of .08 and above will be assigned a penalty such as fines, jail time, probation, community service and alcohol programs. In the event that you are convicted of a DUI the courts usually suspend your license for a few months and may only allow you to drive if you have a breathalyzer installed in your car which comes with a monthly payment similar to a car payment.
Colorado takes driving under the influence very seriously and even more so when the driver is reckless, speeding, causes accidents, injures someone or is a habitual offender. In circumstances such as these, the judge will typically impose much harsher penalties and your charges can possibly be increased to felonies which can be very detrimental to your life in the long run. When it comes to driving under the influence of drugs, officers can ask you to perform field sobriety tests to investigate the level of your intoxication. In certain cases, you may be required to complete them, though many times they are strictly voluntary. If officers feel you may be intoxicated, they will most likely take you in for a blood test to confirm if there are any drugs in your system.
Don’t take a chance with drunk or drugged driving, there are plenty of rideshare options available these days to help you avoid getting arrested and keep yourself and others safe at the same time. If you are not sure if you are ok to drive, don’t take the chance, but if you feel fine, you may want to take a look at our BAC charts below for a better idea or for heavy drinkers, you can always buy a pocket breathalyzer to keep with you. In any case, if you make a mistake and get a DUI, don’t hesitate to reach out to our drunk driving lawyers for assistance with your case.
The legal limit for driving a motor vehicle in Colorado under the influence of alcohol is set at .07 BAC or below, meaning .08 or higher is considered intoxicated. As long as you can stay below that limit you are legal to drive, but unless you have a personal breathalyzer that is properly maintained, then you need to be able to calculate what your blood alcohol content is to be able to figure out if you are okay to drive. Use the charts below for reference and take note there is a different chart for men and women. Also, remember that the numbers listed are based on averages and can vary based on many different factors, so when in doubt call a ride share service and stay safe.
Penalties for drunk drivers in Colorado are pretty straightforward in most cases as they are set to certain guidelines, however if you have a prior history of DUIs or are a habitual offender of other types of crimes, you may be given much stronger penalties than normal. When it comes to driving under the influence, there are also other factors that can increase sentencing such as speeding, reckless driving, street racing, causing accidents or injuring another driver, passenger or pedestrian. All of these factors will typically contribute to higher fines, longer jail time and extra rehabilitation type classes. For more information about these types of factors, scroll to the detailed explanation of penalties section below.
There are two types of penalties that you will receive if convicted of a DUI or DWAI in Colorado that are handled by two different parts of the legislature. The criminal penalties are handled by the courts and the Colorado Department of Revenue handles all of the administrative penalties.
The administration penalties include things such as driver’s license suspensions and revocations for drivers convicted of drunk driving or being under the influence and they also administer points to your driving record for violations.
The courts handle the criminal side of the penalties with offense classifications such as misdemeanors or felonies, jail and prison sentencing, monetary fines, probation, parole, rehabilitation class assignment and public/community service hours.
First Time DUI Offenders – Misdemeanor Charge
Second Time DUI Offenders – Misdemeanor Charge
Third Time DUI Offenders – Misdemeanor Charge
Fourth Time & Subsequent DUI Offenders – Class 4 Felony Charge
First Time DWAI Offenders – Misdemeanor Charge
Second Time DWAI Offenders – Misdemeanor Charge
Third Time DWAI Offenders – Misdemeanor Charge
Fourth Time & Subsequent DWAI Offenders – Class 4 Felony Charge
Vehicular Assault – Class 4 Felony Charge
a.k.a. DUI causing serious injury
Vehicular Homicide- Class 3 Felony Charge
a.k.a. DUI causing death
Vehicular Homicide- Class 3 Felony Charge
a.k.a. DUI causing death
First Time UDD Offenders – Class A Traffic Infraction
a.k.a. Underage Drunk Driving
Second Time & Subsequent UDD Offenders – Class 2 Traffic Misdemeanor
As you can see by the information stated above, Colorado takes driving under the influence very seriously and penalizes those who violate those laws with major consequences that can have a serious short and long term effect on your life. If you’ve been pulled over, charged or convicted for DUI, DUID or DWAI in Colorado, give us a call right away for expert legal assistance. Our law firm has battled hundreds of DUI cases over the years and we know exactly how to handle every part of it, from helping you not incriminate yourself during your traffic stop to getting the best possible outcome in the courtroom if it goes there.
You can count on compassionate lawyers with a strong attention to detail that ensures no possible wins slip through the cracks giving you the best chance at getting your life back to normal quickly. Our firm offers free virtual consultations 24/7 so don’t hesitate to call or feel free to stop by our office to speak with a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer in person.
We serve clients charged with crimes or injured anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County and beyond.