The charge of driving under the influence is a serious one, but many drivers don’t know what’s at stake until they’ve been ticketed. The state of Colorado has some especially harsh penalties for driving under the influence, but with the best DUI lawyers on your side, you may be able to avoid these punishments and keep your driving record clean.
Whether you’ve faced a charge for driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, or driving with ability impaired, you should be aware of the state’s laws surrounding these offenses. Here are the questions you should ask your DUI lawyer and the answers your need to know.
What are the penalties for a first offense?
Even though it may be your first time being caught driving under the influence, you could still face some serious consequences. Technically, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.05%, even though the legal limit for drivers over 21 years old is 0.08%. The first conviction can lead to a fine between $600 and $1,000 (though it can be as low as $300 for a DWAI charge). Drivers may also receive 48 to 96 hours of community service and possibly even between five days and one whole year of jail time. Those who are convicted will also receive 12 points on their driver’s license, which is enough to suspend it. Even those with DWAI convictions, which constitute a lesser offense, can still see some of these penalties.
What happens beyond the first offense?
Subsequent DUI and DWAI charges for adults over 21 are far more harsh than the ones for a first-time offense. A second offense is considered any within 10 years of the first one. This can result in a fine of between $1,000 and $1,500, 60 to 120 hours of community service, and anywhere from 90 days to a year in jail. This conviction will also revoke your driver’s license for an entire year, meaning you will need to retake your driver’s test when you’re legally able to drive again.
Beyond these first two DWAI convictions, fines can range from $800 to $1,200, result in 52 to 104 hours of community service, and send you to jail for 60 to 365 days. You may also be given an interlock restricted license, which means you will need to use a device like a breathalyzer in order to operate a vehicle.
Colorado doesn’t have a felony DUI standard, unlike most states, so it is possible to receive multiple DUI convictions without facing jail time. However, this is usually not an option for those who don’t have good criminal defense lawyers. Make sure that you call us if you need a DUI lawyer who will fight aggressively on your side against these charges.