Anyone convicted of Driving Under the Influence ( DUI ), or Driving While Ability Impaired ( DWAI ) in Arapahoe, Adams, or any County in Colorado, will, as part of their sentence, be required to take part in the Alcohol and Drug driving safety program. Recently, I have spoken with clients who have been confused over this issue, so I thought I would share some information with our blog readers.
Prior to being sentenced for a DUI or DWAI, a defendant will be examined by a Colorado State approved evaluator for drug and alcohol treatment. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide courts with the information they need to impose a sentence for Driving Under the Influence which meets statutory requirements. There are other factors the courts use, but for the purpose of this article I will only discuss the Education and Treatment Program.
The chart below is published by the Colorado Department of Human Services – Office of Behavioral Health (CDHS-OBH ) and is placed here for your convenience. This information is used by evaluators in Denver, Jefferson, and Douglas County, and throughout Colorado.
Mandatory treatment for Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Ability Impaired is broken into two levels of education. Level I education requires the lowest number of hours. Level II is more intense and is divided into four tracks, A through D. Track A requires the fewest number of hours and Track D requires the most. As the chart shows, the number of prior convictions and blood alcohol level (BAC) are the main factors used in determining how much treatment is required.
In researching this issue, I called a CDHS-OBH evaluator to discuss the more subjective factors used in placing defendants into treatment. Some of those factors include the defendant’s attitude about the education and treatment, and individual’s level of acceptance of responsibility. The most interesting factor he mentioned was a comparison of the BAC and the police officer’s reported observations concerning the driver’s skills. The evaluator told me that if a defendant displayed good driving skill in spite of a high BAC, it was an indicator that the person has a greater need for treatment. This was surprising to me at first, until he explained that an individual that maintained decent driving skills even when drunk, was more likely to have an alcohol related problem need greater treatment.
If you have been charged with a DUI or DWAI, we recommend talking with an attorney before talking with the police. The attorneys at the O’Malley Law Office, P.C. are dedicated to working in your best interests. Call us to schedule your free consultation at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.