Colorado Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and DWAI - Questions and Answers

What Is the Difference Between Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Ability Impaired?

C.R.S. 42-4-1301 defines both DUI and DWAI in Denver, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Adams, Douglas, Larimer and Weld County. The main difference is that driving while ability impaired requires someone to be affected by the alcohol to the "slightest degree," while driving under the influence requires that he or she is "substantially incapable" of operating the vehicle safely. Our Colorado DUI lawyers have many tools to refute these definitions.

What Is Excess Blood Alcohol Content Charge?

This charge is a catch all for prosecutors in case a defendant shows he was not "substantially incapable" of operating the vehicle. All the government needs to prove is that the driver's BAC was over .08. It duplicates the DUI charge and is there to make it easier for the government to win its cases when a good criminal defense attorney beats them on the DUI charge.

What Are Important Factors in a Police Stop?

Colorado officers need to have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in order to make a vehicle stop on suspicion of a drinking and driving offense. Police often look for citizen complaints against the driver, weaving, failure to signal, speeding, an accident, headlights not on, driving too slow or failure to move the car when a traffic light changes.

Should You Take Colorado Roadside Tests and a PBT?

No. These roadside maneuvers/tests only help the police officers make a probable cause arrest decision. These tests are not mandatory and can only hurt you. A PBT is a portable breath test that is given at the roadside where you are stopped by police. This voluntary test can only hurt you, so don't take it.

Blood Alcohol Test Breath or Blood, Which is Best?

These tests are mandatory and are given at a police station on an Intoxilyzer breath machine, or by a blood sample at a hospital. Circumstances vary and there is not an always-right answer to which is best. The bottom line is that you must choose one if you are arrested and can't change your mind. If you refuse to take one, you will lose your license automatically.

The Department of Motor Vehicles Hearing What Is This?

This is a mini-trial to determine your eligibility to keep your driving privilege in Colorado. It can be helpful, yet is difficult to win. Sometimes, this hearing is useful to gather evidence for your criminal trial. Only your criminal defense lawyer can tell you if you should request the hearing. There is a very short deadline to request the hearing, usually seven days following your driving offense.

We Have the Experience to Protect You

We have defended several hundred DUI and DWAI offenses. If stopped by police, exercise your right to remain silent and call us at 303-731-0719 today. Together, we can protect your future.

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