If you were arrested for a Colorado DUI, the arresting officer believed that you were driving under the influence, or impaired to a substantial degree and that you could not operate that motor vehicle safely. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving under the influence of alcohol. Colorado also has a lesser drunk driving offense, Driving While Ability Impaired or DWAI. The impairment necessary for a Colorado DWAI is less than a DUI. If your blood alcohol level is between a .05% and .08% BAC, it is presumed that you are DWAI.
When you are arrested for drunk driving in Colorado, two separate cases start. There is the criminal court case, which determines fines, jail time, community service, and other similar items. There is also the administrative side with the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which determines your licensing status.
IMPORTANT: COLORADO LAW STATES THAT YOU HAVE 7 DAYS FROM YOUR ARREST FOR YOUR ATTORNEY TO REQUEST A DRIVER’S LICENSE HEARING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. It is crucial that you or your attorney schedules this hearing to avoid further problems with your driver’s license.
COLORADO DUI vs. COLORADO DWAI PENALTIES
If you are convicted of Colorado DUI charges, you can expect to pay substantial fines and be subject to various penalties (depending on the circumstances) including 5 days to 1 year of jail time. Jail time may be suspended in lieu of an alcohol rehabilation course. Colorado’s DUI penalties are very serious – if convicted of your first Colorado DUI, you can face a $1000 fine, 96 hours of community service, an alcohol education course, and up to 90 hours of alcohol therapy. Depending on what your BAC was at the time of your arrest – the penalties can also include a mandatory 10 days jail sentence, installing a Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle, and being required to NOT DRINK ALCOHOL FOR 1 YEAR!
If you’ve been cited or arrested for Colorado DWAI (driving while ability impaired) only needs to show that you were impaired to the slightest degree while you were driving. Driving while ability impaired means that you are less able to safely operate a motor vehicle and exercise clear judgment than if you were 100% sober. The benchmark to be found DWAI is .05% BAC and higher.
COLORADO DUI LAWYER
Colorado DUI attorneys defend DUI offenses and drunk driving cases in Colorado. A good Colorado DUI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases that you’re facing and offer DUI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal DUI charges and the administrative case with DMV, regarding a license suspension or revocation.