Key Information About DUI Charges in Colorado
A Denver law firm focused specifically on drunk driving defense
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be a frightening experience, especially if you’ve never been in trouble with the law before. A knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer from The Orr Law Firm in Denver can explain the legal implications of your arrest and develop an effective plan for dealing with the charges against you. Experienced and well-trained, we keep you informed at every step in your case and help you explore all of your legal options.
Understanding DUI charges and penalties
DUI is the most serious misdemeanor offense related to drunk driving in Colorado. Motorists caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08 percent will be charged with a DUI, and face the following penalties if convicted:
- Incarceration: A first-time DUI conviction may involve jail time between five days and one year. Judges usually hand down more jail time if the offender has a high or aggravated BAC, was involved in an accident or after second and subsequent offenses.
- Large fines: The fine is between $600 and $1,000 for a first-offense DUI. These fines increase to up to $1,500 for subsequent convictions. This does not include the cost of prosecution, as well as, all the out-of-pocket costs associated with probation, monitored sobriety and alcohol classes.
- License suspension: A first-offense DUI conviction may result in a one-year administrative driver’s license revocation in Colorado, potentially leaving you unable to travel to work or school. If it is your second or third offense, you could lose your license for between one and five years — a substantial amount of time to go without driving privileges.
- Mandatory IIDs: Even on a first offense, you may have to install an ignition interlock device (IID), which comes at your own expense and requires you to pass a BAC test before you can start the car and periodically while driving. Upon subsequent convictions, IID installation is typically mandatory and for longer periods of time.
With the potential penalties in mind, you can understand why it's critically important to work with a trustworthy DUI defense attorney to fight the charges against you. At The Orr Law Firm our lawyers have the skill and experience you need to ensure you receive the best possible outcome given the facts of your case. We use effective defense strategies to minimize jail time, avoid hefty fines and preserve your driving privileges.
Other types of offenses
In addition to DUI, the following other types of alcohol and controlled substance-related traffic offenses are regulated by state law and prosecuted similarly:
- DWAI: According to state law, driving while ability impaired (DWAI) occurs when you operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs -- or a combination of both. These substances must result in you being unable to the exercise clear judgment mentally or physically, thereby impairing your ability to drive safely to the slightest degree. Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you may still face DWAI charges. Any BAC above .05 but below the .08 threshold will result in a DWAI charge in Colorado.
- DUID: Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) has become a particular focus of law enforcement since 2012, when Colorado voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana. But the type of drug doesn’t matter when it comes to DUID — if law enforcement officers deem that you’re impaired, you will be arrested and charged accordingly. You will be required to submit to a blood test and failure to comply will result in you being charged with a Refusal and potentially losing your license for a minimum of one year.
- UDD: Underage drunk driving (UDD) involves anyone under the age of 21 operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In accordance with the law, offenders who are not of the legal drinking age and have BACs that measure above .02 percent — the equivalent of less than one drink for many people — face charges and penalties if convicted.
More information about impaired driving charges in Colorado
DUI cases tend to be very complex and involve multiple factors, including the procedural practices of law enforcement officers during your arrest and the validity of breath and blood tests used to determine one’s level of intoxication. Check out the links below to read further about key topics related to DUI, DWAI and more:
- DUI statutes: Learn about the various DUI statutes and laws in Colorado and how they might impact your case.
- DUI penalties: The penalties for DUI can be harsh, including jail time and the loss of driving privileges for up to five years or more depending on the number of prior offenses.
- DUI prevention: The best way to prevent a DUI conviction is to avoid drunk driving in the first place. However, this is easier said than done for many people.
- DUI defense information: Your lawyer considers a number of potential tactics when defending against DUI charges, while thoroughly investigating the circumstances of the arrest.
- Frequently asked questions: Learn more about drunk driving and drugged driving in Colorado by visiting our DUI FAQ page.
- The legal limit: What does it mean to be above the legal limit? It depends on your age and the offense for which you’ve been arrested.
- Selecting a DUI attorney: Choosing the right DUI attorney is absolutely critical to your case and the legal options available to you.
- Traffic offenses: In addition to DUI and DWAI, we handle a wide range of Criminal traffic offense issues.
Consult our skilled DUI defense attorneys right away
Would you like further guidance on drunk driving defense in Colorado? Call The Orr Law Firm today at 303.818.2448 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation. Our trusted lawyers represent clients located in Denver and throughout the state.