Best DUI Lawyers in Denver, CO Of 2024 – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

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It doesn’t take much alcohol to become legally impaired and DUI penalties can be steep. Below is a guide to Colorado’s DUI regulations that every driver should understand.

Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Colorado

A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is known as “DUI per se,” which means that no additional evidence of impairment is required to bring criminal charges beyond a finding that your BAC is 0.08 percent or higher. Note that if you have a BAC of between .05 percent and under 0.08%, you could also potentially face criminal charges for driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Drivers under 21 with a BAC between 0.02% and 0.05% can face charges for underage drinking and driving (UDD)

Express Consent Law in Colorado

Under Colorado law C.R.S. Section 42-4-1301.1, a driver must provide a breath or blood sample for testing by a police officer who has probable cause to believe the driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, anyone driving a vehicle in Colorado is deemed to have given their express consent to provide a breath or blood sample.

Penalties for DUI and DWAI Convictions in Colorado

The penalties for a first conviction depend on whether you have been charged with a DUI (BAC of 0.08% or higher) or a DWAI (BAC of between 0.05 percent and under 0.08%).

First DWAI

First-time DWAI offenders could spend between two and 180 days in jail, pay a fine between $200 and $500, and be ordered to complete 24 to 48 hours of community service.

First DUI

First-time DUI offenders could spend five days to one year in jail, pay a fine between $600 and $1,000, and be ordered to complete 48 to 96 hours of community service.

Second DWAI or DUI

A driver convicted of a DWAI or DUI with one prior offense could spend 10 days to one year in jail, pay a fine between $600 and $1,500, and be ordered to complete 48 to 120 hours of community service.

Third DWAI or DUI

A driver convicted of a DWAI or DUI with two prior offenses could spend 60 days to one year in jail, pay a fine between $600 and $1,500, and be ordered to complete 48 to 120 hours of community service.

Fourth DUI

A fourth DUI is a Class Four Felony. A driver could spend from 90 to 180 days to two to six years in prison, pay a fine between $2,000 and $500,000, and be ordered to complete 48 to 120 hours of community service.

Additional Penalties

Other penalties could include payment to a victim restitution fund, attending alcohol and drug counseling or probation.

If you refuse to provide a breath or blood sample for testing, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for two years. An ignition interlock prevents drivers from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol by requiring a breath sample before the engine starts. Drivers are required to provide breath samples periodically. If an elevated alcohol concentration level is detected, the vehicle will not start.

You must additionally enroll in a Level II Alcohol/Education program and provide proof of enrollment. An SR22 form may also be required. An SR22 form is filed by your insurer and requires the company to notify the state Department of Motor Vehicles of any policy cancellation.

What to Expect After a DUI Arrest in Colorado

If you have been arrested for a DUI, there are two separate processes to follow: an administrative process through the Department of Motor Vehicles and a judicial process through the court, each with its timelines and requirements.

The DMV’s Administrative Process determines any restrictions imposed on your driving privileges. A driver convicted of a DUI may request a hearing on an action to be taken against their license by the DMV, such as a revocation, suspension, denial or cancellation of a driver’s license. A DMV hearing officer and an arresting officer will attend the hearing.

Separately, DUI cases are prosecuted in court by the local district attorney’s office. A driver arrested for a DUI receives a summons, which begins the court process. You will be required to appear in court and enter a plea of guilty or innocent. If a driver is found guilty, the court may impose fines, jail time, treatment programs, community service or probation.

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