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Colorado DUI and DWAI – Driving Under the Influence / Driving While Ability Impaired

| Jan 23, 2012 | DUI / DWAI |

Denver DUI / DWAI Defense Attorney

Colorado DUI and DWAI – Driving Under the Influence / Driving While Ability Impaired are two very similar driving / traffic offenses in Colorado. In Jefferson, Denver, Douglas, Arapahoe and Adams County, the primary difference between DUI / DWAI is the degree of impairment.

Definition of Driving Under the Influence in Douglas County

Driving Under the Influence, C.R.S. 42-4-1301 (1)(f), defines this offense as operating a motor vehicle when you have used alcohol or drugs which affect the driver to a degree that he is substantially incapable of operating the vehicle. Notice that both alcohol and drugs can lead to a DUI charge.

Jefferson County Definition of Driving While Ability Impaired

Driving While Ability is Impaired, C.R.S. 42-4-1301 (1)(g), defines this offense as operating a motor vehicle when you have used alcohol or drugs which affect the driver to the slightest degree in his ability to operate a vehicle. Again, both alcohol and drugs can lead to a DUI charge, so neither is safe to use when driving is in the near future.

DUI Lawyer – Blood Alcohol Content

Proof of the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood or breath sample is strong evidence of the level of intoxication, and is measured by either the Intoxilizer breath machine or a blood test. If a driver has .08 BAC level, or greater, then the presumption is that the driver is Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in Arapahoe, Jefferson and Douglas County. If a driver has .051 – .08 BAC level, then the presumption is that the driver is Driving While his Ability is Impaired by Alcohol in Denver and Adams County. If .05 or less, the presumption is that the person is not driving Impaired. For DUI / DWAI, if a person’s BAC level is .17 or more grams of alcohol per two hundred liters of blood, that person will be labeled a persistent drunk driver, with heightened penalties.

Roadside Tests in Denver – Just Say No

Loss of your driver’s license is not always mandatory with a drinking and driving offense, although it often occurs. For this reason, it is essential that you not volunteer to take the voluntary roadside maneuvers. Taking them provides police with evidence they use to form probable cause for your arrest. You are only assisting police by taking these tests. However, it is important to remember that once arrested, a person is required to give either a breath or blood sample so their actual level of impairment can be scientifically measured. If a person refuses to submit a sample through either a breath or blood test, they will be deemed to have refused and will automatically lose their license.

There are many factors which determine whether a driver’s license is suspended and whether a probationary or “red” license can be granted. So, if you are contacted by police concerning a drinking and driving traffic offense, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.