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Driving under the influence is a crime in Colorado, but not all people charged with DUI will face the same penalties.
Aggravating factors will influence the charge you receive and your sentence (if convicted.) The best way to defend against these charges is to understand what they are.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Colorado, we know you have a lot of questions. Use this guide to answer yours and prepare yourself for your next steps.
The safest way to drive is clean and sober. If you are intoxicated or impaired by controlled substances, you may find yourself facing any one of Colorado’s DUI charges. There are five basic DUI charges outlined in Colorado’s laws. They are:
The difference between DUI and DUI per se can trip many people up. Most people are used to understanding DUI as a crime only when your BAC is above .08. However, according to Colorado law:
“If at such time the defendant’s BAC was in excess of 0.05 but less than 0.08, such fact gives rise to the permissible inference that the defendant’s ability to operate a motor vehicle or vehicle was impaired by the consumption of alcohol, and such fact may also be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether or not the defendant was under the influence of alcohol.”
Because of this, keep in mind that blowing a .06 does not mean you are off the hook for DUI charges in this state, you will most likely be charged with DWAI.
The answer will depend on your record. If you have not faced a DUI-related charge before, you are most likely to face misdemeanor charges. (UDD is merely a traffic violation.) Penalties will likely continue to increase up until your fourth DUI-related charge. At that point, the charge is a class 4 felony.
Penalties vary by crime. If you have been charged with DUI or DUI per se, you may face:
For a DWAI charge, you may face:
Offenders convicted of UDD will face 24 hours of public service, and potentially an alcohol education program.
Yes. Depending on the charge and your record, you may face mandatory jail time, higher fines, more hours of public service, or more time using an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
An IID is a breathalyzer that connects to your car. Once your license is restored, you will be required to blow into the IID to start the car. If you blow over the legal limit, your car will not start.
In Colorado, DUI and DUI-related convictions are not eligible for expungement. If you plead guilty or are found guilty, this crime will remain on your record forever.
In order to qualify for expungement, the charges must be dropped, or you must be found “not guilty” in court. So, as you develop your legal defense, keep in mind that a plea deal can seal this fate, even if that means you serve less jail time or get back on the road faster.
Before you make that decision, talk to an experienced Colorado DUI attorney for more information on fighting charges and expunging your record.
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.
Contact The Law Office of Andrew Bryant today for a free consultation concerning your criminal or family law case. You are just a click away from a top-rated and respected team with the experience and tenacity to ensure you get the best legal services offered in Colorado Springs – call or email now.