Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, defined at C.R.S. 42-4-1301, is a serious driving and criminal offense in Arapahoe, Boulder, and Denver County. Since there are many complicated rules surrounding DUIs, a criminal defense lawyer can make the difference.
The usual punishment for a DUI will vary by the number of prior offenses you have, the alcohol / drug content of your blood or breath, and whether there is injury to others. Possible punishments involve being sentenced to the Department of Corrections, County Jail, Probation, fines, and/or community service.
First, if you have prior offenses for DUI in Colorado or other states, the court will punish you more severely. The amount of jail time is a very significant punishment, and for someone who has no priors, they will likely receive a 5 day jail sentence. A second offense has a minimum of 10 days. A third, or more offenses, carry a minimum of 60 days in jail. Prior convictions in counties like Douglas, Adams, and Jefferson County will increase your length of probation, fines, and community service hours.
Next, your alcohol or drug content will also affect your case. An Expressed Consent BAC test, under C.R.S. 42-4-1301.1, will determine the type of charge. For example, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above .05 and under .08, you will be charged with a Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). If your BAC is above .08 and below .2, then you will be facing normal DUI charges. However, if your BAC is above .2, you will be labeled a Persistent Drunk Driver and have an additional punishment of a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail.
Finally, any injuries others sustain from your drinking and driving conduct will also affect your DUI charges. If you are over the .08 alcohol limit and you kill someone, you will be charged with Vehicular Homicide, a Felony under C.R.S. 18-3-106. Instead of killing someone, let's say they are only injured. Then, you will be dealing with a charge of Vehicular Assault under C.R.S. 18-3-205.
DUI's in Colorado are not always easy for the District Attorney's in El Paso, Larimer, and Weld County to prove. Scientific tests and roadside maneuvers have many rules and police don't always follow them in detail as required by the Colorado Department of Health and Colorado statute. You need an experienced DUI attorney at your side to help fight these charges. If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.