A first-time DUI in Colorado is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum one-year jail sentence, a fine of up to $1,000, and other penalties. However, if certain “aggravating factors” exist in a case, a conviction can result in increased penalties—or even being charged with a felony DUI.
The following are the most common aggravating factors in a Colorado DUI:
- High BAC – The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 to get convicted of a DUI in the state. But if a person’s BAC level is 0.20 percent or higher after taking a DUI chemical test, a conviction can result in higher penalties, such as a mandatory 10-day jail sentence and license suspension.
- Previous DUI convictions – If you have a prior DUI conviction—which occurred within five years—on your criminal record, a subsequent conviction can lead to increased penalties and designation as a repeat offender.
- Child in the car – If a child under 16 years old was present in the vehicle when you were arrested for drunk driving, you could be charged with negligent child abuse. Not only do you face additional jail time and penalties, but also issues regarding child custody and social services.
- Reckless driving – If you were driving recklessly or carelessly prior to being pulled over by the police, you may face additional charges and penalties for reckless and careless driving.
- DUI accident – If you were drunk driving and caused an accident and serious bodily injury, you could be charged with vehicular assault, which is a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum six-year prison sentence and fines not exceeding $500,000. If the accident led to someone’s death, you could be charged with vehicular homicide, which is a Class 4 felony that is punishable by a maximum 12-year prison term and a fine of up to $750,000.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Denver, contact The Orr Law Firm and schedule a free consultation today.