Denver DUI Lawyers
DUI Charges in Colorado
Drivers in Colorado who have been pulled over, accused of, and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) face severe consequences. The state does not hold back when it comes to penalizing drivers convicted of driving while drunk. It is even possible to have your driver’s license revoked without having a drop of alcohol in your system when you are pulled over!
To stop the criminal justice system and the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from overstepping your rights, connect with Springer & Steinberg, P.C. in Denver now. Our law firm has decades of collective legal experience to put to good use in your DUI defense case. We are proud to call ourselves trial attorneys who will take a case to court if that is what it takes to do what is best for our clients. Where other law firms and lawyers often turn away or retreat, we press on with more determination than ever.
Types of Impaired Driving Charges
Colorado does not penalize drunk drivers under just one criminal statute. In order to bring more charges against drivers and secure more convictions, the definition of a DUI has been splintered into three different categories.
The three types of drunk driving charges in Colorado are:
- DWAI: Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) describes a driver who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level between 0.05 and 0.08. The charge can also be brought against a driver who has detectable levels of drugs in their blood and exhibits dangerous driving behaviors.
- DUI: A driver who has a recorded BAC level of 0.08 or greater and exhibits dangerous driving behaviors can be charged with a DUI, which generally carries higher penalties than a DWAI.
- DUI per se: It is also possible to be charged with “DUI per se” if your BAC level is recorded above 0.08, but you do not exhibit any dangerous driving behaviors. In other words, it is illegal to drive with a high BAC level, regardless of whether or not you are impaired.
DUI Penalties in Colorado
When you are charged with a DUI, you might be lulled into a sense of complacency by the criminal justice system or prosecutors who tell you things “won’t be that bad” if you have no other DUI convictions on your record. Make no mistake, though. A single DUI conviction in Colorado can be hugely disruptive to your day-to-day life and damage your overall well-being.
A DUI conviction can bring the following criminal penalties:
- Incarceration: You can be sentenced to anywhere from 2 days to 1 year in jail. First-time offenses will usually include at least 5 days of jail time.
- Fines paid to the state: You can be ordered to pay anywhere between $200 and 1,500 in fines paid to the state. There will be other administrative fees, too, not included in your sentencing requirements.
- License loss: Your driver’s license can be revoked for 9 or 12 months. It is also possible to be sentenced to an “indefinite revocation” of your license, which lasts until you are successfully approved for license reinstatement no less than 24 months after your conviction.
- Ignition interlock device (IID) installation: You can be required to use an IID in your car for anywhere between 8 months and 5 years. Each month you have an IID in your car can also require you to pay upkeep fees.
- Community service order: You can be sentenced to 48 to 120 hours of community service, such as cleaning highways around your hometown.
- Treatment program: You must attend and complete an alcohol rehabilitation and treatment program, which you pay for out of your own pocket.All of the potential criminal penalties will vary depending on the circumstances of your charges and criminal history. Higher charges bring steeper sentencing requirements. Preexisting convictions on your criminal record will also escalate the penalties.
Our Denver DUI defense lawyers are adamant about the importance of giving people the chance to make informed decisions when they are accused of a crime. We will be honest and upfront with you when you choose us to be your criminal defense team, so you can always feel confident in how your case is developing.
Penalties Handled by the Colorado DMV
Do not forget that the Colorado DMV also has a say in how to penalize you for drunk driving. Most notably, the DMV will automatically revoke your driver’s license for 9 months to 2 years after you are arrested for a BAC level at 0.08. An automatic revocation between 1 to 3 years will also trigger if you refuse to take a mandatory chemical BAC test.
To stop the automatic revocation of your driver’s license, you must request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Failing to request the hearing will result in a likely-irreversible revocation. Since a DMV revocation is administrative and not part of the criminal justice system, you cannot appeal to a higher court to review it. You must act within those 10 days to protect your driving privilege!
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