In Colorado, the heat is on. You may be looking at the weather outside and wondering what on earth that could mean, but don’t worry – it’s not in the literal sense. Instead, Colorado law enforcement is giving impaired drivers notice that the heat is on to get them off the roads.
The holiday season kicks off on Halloween. During these two months, DUI arrests tend to go up. This year, the Colorado Department of Transportation is working with the Colorado State Patrol to help keep Colorado drivers safe by educating people on impaired driving and how to avoid it.
Colorado is strict when it comes to driving under the influence. That’s why getting caught operating a vehicle when intoxicated is a serious offense, even if you’ve never done it before or if no one was hurt.
Here’s what you need to know about DUI charges and penalties in Colorado so you will think twice about getting behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking.
What is a DUI in Colorado?
In the state of Colorado, driving under the influence (DUI) is charged when you are pulled over while operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.
When your blood alcohol level is particularly high, greater than 0.20 percent, then you can be charged with a higher level of DUI and face stiffer penalties in the process.
If you are arrested for a DUI, DWAI, or DUI per se and have three prior convictions of any of these offenses, then you can face felony charges with enhanced penalties.
Penalties for DUI in Colorado
If you are charged with a DUI in Colorado and found guilty, then you face a variety of penalties. The type of penalty depends on if it is your first offense or not as well as the time period of the offense in relation to other offenses you may have incurred associated with a DUI.
DUI First Offense
If it is your first DUI offense, then you can face up to one year of imprisonment, but there is no mandatory jail time. If you are given probation, then it can last for up to two years. You also face fines up to $1,000 and may have complete up to 96 hours of community service.
DUI Second Offense
On your second DUI offense within five years of the last, you may face up to one year of imprisonment with a mandatory jail sentence of up to 10 days. You can be subject to fines up to $1,500, up to four years of probation, and up to 120 hours of community service. Your second offense outside of five years still result in the same penalties.
DUI Third Offense (Or More)
If this is your third DUI offense (or more), then you can face up to one year of imprisonment with a minimum sentence of 160 days in jail. You also face up to four years of probation, fines up to $1,500, and up to 24 hours of community service.
If you cause serious bodily injury or death to another while perpetrating a DUI, then you face felony charges. This is punishable by up to six years in prison with a mandatory period of three years on parole. You can also be responsible for fines up to $500,000.
About the Author:
Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.