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Penalties for DUI in Colorado

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The following tables summarize the criminal and administrative penalties upon conviction as they appear in sections 42-4-1301, 42-4-1307, 42-2-125, 42-2-126, 42-2-127, Colorado Revised Statutes. There are both criminal penalties (fines, court costs, imprisonment, required useful public service, required alcohol education and treatment, etc.) and administrative penalties for drunk driving.

Courts impose criminal penalties, while the Colorado Department of Revenue imposes the administrative penalties. Administrative penalties include the suspension or revocation of driving privileges due to the conviction of certain alcohol offenses or the accumulation of sufficient points assessed for all types of violations. This summary does not include all the details contained in state law and regulations.

For more information, contact us to discuss your particular situation and applicable penalties. Our Denver DUI attorneys are passionate advocates on each client's behalf.

Criminal Penalties1

Offense Jail Term Range Mandatory Jail Maximum Jail Period of Probation Fines Public Service
1st DWAI 2 days - 180 days None 180 days Up to 2 years $200 - $500 24 - 48 hours
1st DUI 5 days - 1 year None 1 year Up to 2 years $600 - $1,000 48 - 96 hours
2nd Offense - outside of 5 years 10 days - 1 year 10 days 2 years 2 - 4 years $600 - $1,500 48 - 120 hours
2nd Offense - within 5 years 10 days - 1 year 10 days consecutive 2 years 2 - 4 years $600 - $1,500 48 - 120 hours
3rd or Subsequent Offense 60 days - 1 year 60 days consecutive 2 years 2 - 4 years $600 - $1,500 48 - 120 hours
1st UDD None None None None $100 Up to 24 hours
DUR Alcohol 30 days - 1 year 30 days 1 year None $500 - $1,000 None
1st Alcohol Conviction with a BAC >.200 10 days - 1 year 10 days 1 year Up to 2 years $600 - $1,000 48 - 96 hours

(1)This table is a summary of commonly requested information and possible penalties. It does not represent an official legal position of The Orr Law Firm, L.L.C. and does not bind any employees of The Orr Law Firm, L.L.C. It is intended to provide a general overview of Colorado Law as of the date of its preparation. Any person needing legal advice should consult with The Orr Law Firm, L.L.C. and should not rely solely on the information in the above table.

When charged with a DUI in Colorado, you face possible administrative penalties as well as possible criminal penalties. Administrative penalties are assessed by the Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles. Administratively, the DMV is coming after your driving privileges.

Possible penalties for DUI offenses are contingent upon prior criminal and administrative convictions, as well as the current number of points on your motor vehicle record. The chart below includes a summary of administrative penalties based upon offense type and priors. For more detailed information on possible penalties for your particular situation, please contact us directly to speak with a Denver DUI attorney or a staff member at The Orr Law Firm.

Administrative Penalties2

Offense License Suspension / Revocation Points Assessed
Failed BAC test of .080 or higher 9 months None
2nd Failed BAC test of .080 or higher 1 year None
3rd or subsequent Failed BAC test of .080 or higher 2 years None
1st Refusal 1 year None
2nd Refusal 2 years None
3rd or subsequent Refusal 3 years None
1st DWAI criminal conviction None 8 points
1st DUI criminal conviction 9 months 12 points
2nd DUI or DWAI criminal conviction in a 5 year period 1 year DUI -12 points DWAI - 8 points
3rd or subsequent DUI or DWAI criminal conviction 2 years DUI -12 points DWAI - 8 points
1st UDD (BAC .02 -.049) 3 months - 1st offense
6 months - 2nd offense
1 year - 3rd or subsequent offense
4 points
Driving Under Revocation / Suspension 1 year None

2nd Driving Under Revocation / Suspension

convictions in a 5 year period

3 years None
3rd Major Traffic Offense in a 7 year period 5 years None

(2)This table is a summary of commonly requested information and required administrative penalties. This table is for penalties assessed upon criminal conviction of the listed violation only. It does not take into account any previous administrative penalties assessed by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

It does not represent an official legal position of The Orr Law Firm, L.L.C. and does not bind any employees of The Orr Law Firm, L.L.C. It is intended to provide a general overview of Colorado Law as of the date of its preparation. Any person needing legal advice should consult with The Orr Law Firm, L.L.C. and should not rely solely on the information in the above table.

2010 Update – Colorado DUI/DWAI Penalties

Effective July 1, 2010

Governor Bill Ritter recently signed 10 criminal and juvenile justice bills into law. These laws went into effect July 1, 2010. The most notable of these new laws was HB 1347 proposed by Rep. Levy and Sen. Morse.

HB 1347 - Increases penalties for a 2nd offense in a 5 year period and 3rd and subsequent offenses in lifetime. The mandatory for a 2nd offense will be 10 days (straight jail time, no good time and no alternative sentencing programs like EHM/IHD) with work/education release available.

The penalty for 3rd and subsequent offenses will be 60 days (straight jail time, no good time and no alternative sentencing programs like EHM/IHD). There will be increased probation time for repeat offenders. There are provisions for “shock” incarceration for offenders who are not compliant with probation. HB 1347 - Applies only to offenses on or after July 1, 2010.

HB 1347 DUI Bill Summary

  • Repeals the penalty section [42-4-1301(7)], and moves it to its own statute, 42-4-1307.
  • Defines conviction to include verdict or plea, and DJ&S (Deferred Judgment Sentence) unless successfully completed.
  • Determines the penalty based on number of alcohol convictions rather than DUI v. DWAI...
First Offense Penalties

These are meant not to change, but inadvertently – due to a drafting error - there will be some change as noted in italics below)

DUI

  • Jail sentence is 5 days to one year, the minimum is mandatory except as provided in 42-4-1301.3. 42-4-1301.3 (2)(b) did apply to first offenses, but still retains the statutory cite to the old statute, under 42-4-1301(7). The new 42-4-1307 changes 42-4-1301.3(2)(a) apply to all 42-4-1307 violations, including first offenses. The conflict/changes are as follows
    - Immediate sentencing – 42-4-1301.3 (2) requires a presentence evaluation, but 42-4-1301.3 (1) does allow for immediate sentencing on a first offense, as does 42-4-1307.
    - Suspension of mandatory sentences on first offenses – should still be allowed as it was (and maybe still is) under 42-4-1301.3(2)(b) as that applied to first offenses; and the new 42-4-1307(3)(I) and (4)(I) allow suspension as under 42-4-1301.3. It would be nonsensical to have a statute allowing for suspension of the mandatory sentence while referring to a statute that does not.
    - Monitored abstention from the use of alcohol for one year. This will apply to first offenses for DUI and DWAI. (This change was definitely NOT intended and it is not clear how this will play out in practice. Prosecutors have been told that this was not the intent of the Commission but an error by the drafter. It is not clear what each will do with this. Plan is to change in 2011 session.)
  • $600.00 - $1,000.00 fine.
  • 48 – 96 hours of mandatory public service
  • 2 years of discretionary probation that can include other conditions.
DWAI
  • Jail sentence is 2 days to 180 days, the minimum is mandatory except as provided in 42-4-1301.3,with the same caveats as noted above in DUI.
  • $200.00 - $500.00 fine
  • 24 – 48 hours of mandatory public service
  • 2 years of discretionary probation that can include other conditions.
  • If a first time offender has a BAC of above .20 the Court must impose a 10 day jail sentence regardless of whether the conviction is for DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI. The 10 days may be served in sentencing alternative programs under 18-1.3-106 (i.e. work release, home detention, etc.) Convictions of DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI at .20 and above also currently have a fine in the Court’s discretion of $1,000 - $1,500, and 60 – 120 hours of useful public service, with this new penalty section the fine and community service are the same as other first offenses.

Additional Penalties for All Offenses

Required:

  • Crime Victim Compensation Fund Costs pursuant to 24-4.1-119(c).
  • Persistent drunk driver fund surcharge ($100 - $500, unless indigent).
  • $20.00 to the traumatic brain injury trust fund.
  • Rural Substance Abuse Program Fund ($1 - $20, unless indigent).
  • Restitution.
  • Costs of pre and post sentence alcohol and drug evaluation and supervision services.
  • Up to $120 for community service.
  • A victim panel is discretionary.

Multiple Offenses

Prior offense means convicted of: DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, or habitual user and at the time of sentencing you have one or more prior convictions for:

  • DUI,
  • DUI per se,
  • DWAI,
  • Habitual User,
  • Vehicular Homicide (based on under the influence),
  • Vehicular Assault (based on under the influence),
  • HTO (as a felony based on DUI or DWAI), or
  • DUR alcohol/drug

Prior convictions can be under the laws of any State, the United States, or any territory of the United States:

  • No immediate sentencing in cases with priors if the prosecution and defense have not stipulated to the priors, or if the prosecutions requests time to get a driving record or court record.
  • No requirement to plead or prove the previous conviction at trial
  • Prima facie proof of a prior conviction:
    - Prosecution and defense stipulate
    - Driving record from DOR from Colorado or any state
    - Authenticated copy of conviction from court.

Penalties for Multiple Offenses

Jail as Punishment – Second Offenses:

  • If the second offense is within 5 years of the first:
    • Jail sentence is 10 days to 1 year jail – for the minimum mandatory time:
      • Days served must be consecutive
      • No earned time
      • No good time
      • No trusty prisoner status
      • Shall receive credit for time served prior to conviction
    • Sentencing alternative programs pursuant to 18-1.3-106, such as in-home detention and general work release - not allowed for the minimum mandatory sentence, but are allowed for additional time.
    • For the minimum mandatory sentence, work release is allowed only:
      • If the County has such program available
      • To continue employment held at the time of sentencing
      • To continue attendance at an educational institution at which the person was enrolled at the time of sentencing.
      • Participation in Level II treatment program.

If the second offense is outside of 5 years of the first:

  • Jail sentence is 10 days to 1 year jail – for the minimum mandatory time:
    • Days served must be consecutive
    • No earned time
    • No good time
    • No trusty prisoner status
    • Shall receive credit for time served prior to conviction
  • Sentencing alternative programs pursuant to 18-1.3-106, such as general work release and in-home detention – are allowed for the entire sentence.

Other sentencing conditions for all second and subsequent offenses:

  • Courts are encouraged to use interlock devices as a condition of bond, probation, or any sentence to a jail alternative.
  • 2 years mandatory probation:
    • Required:
      • Starting at the commencement of the sentence
      • Suspended 1 year of jail as a condition of probation.
        • No credit is to be given for any period of imprisonment given as punishment.
      • Level II alcohol treatment program
    • Discretionary with court:
      • Commencement of treatment during imprisonment.
      • Require defendant to report to court at any time.
      • Require ignition interlock.
      • Require continuous alcohol monitoring devices.
      • Additional conditions as permitted by law.
      • An additional 2 years of probation as needed, but only if two or more convictions of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, Habitual User, or UDD.
    • Violations of probation:
      • Court may impose all or part of the suspended sentence (up to a year) if the defendant violates any condition of probation.
      • Probation continues while serving jail as a sanction.
      • Imprisonment sanction to be used in a manner to promote compliance with probation. NOTE: This is an important section for defense lawyers. Jail time should be used in accordance with a drug court type model.
      • Prosecution, defendant, or probation officer can apply for early termination of probation, which may be granted only upon a finding that:
        • Successful completion of Level II, and
        • Otherwise complied with probation, and
        • Early termination will not endanger public safety.
  • 48 – 120 hours public service
  • $600 - $1,000 fine

Additional Penalties for all offenses:

  • Required:
    • Crime Victim Compensation Fund Costs pursuant to 24-4.1-119(c).
    • Persistent drunk driver fund surcharge ($100 - $500, unless indigent).
    • $20.00 to the traumatic brain injury trust fund.
    • Rural Substance Abuse Program Fund ($1 - $20, unless indigent).
    • Restitution.
    • Costs of pre and post sentence alcohol and drug evaluation and supervision services.
    • Up to $120 for community service.
  • Discretionary:
    • Victim impact panel.

Jail as Punishment - Third and Subsequent Offenses:

  • For the minimum mandatory sentence, work release is allowed only:
    • If the County has such program available
    • To continue employment held at the time of sentencing
    • To continue attendance at an educational institution at which the person was enrolled at the time of sentencing.
    • Participation in Level II treatment program.
  • Sentencing alternative programs pursuant to 18-1.3-106, such as in-home detention and general work release - not allowed for the minimum mandatory sentence, but are allowed for additional time.
  • Jail sentence is 60 days to 1 year jail - for the minimum mandatory time:
    • Days served must be consecutive
    • No earned time
    • No good time
    • No trusty prisoner status
    • Shall receive credit for time served prior to conviction
  • Day for day credit pursuant to 18-1.3-106(12) is not allowed for any sentence to a county jail alternative program, such as home detention or work release (for second and subsequent offenses only).

Other sentencing conditions for all second and subsequent offenses:

  • Courts are encouraged to use interlock devices as a condition of bond, probation, or any sentence to a jail alternative.
  • 2 years mandatory probation:
    • Required:
      • Starting at the commencement of the sentence
      • Suspended 1 year of jail as a condition of probation.
        • No credit is to be given for any period of imprisonment given as punishment.
      • Level II alcohol treatment program
    • Discretionary with court:
      • Commencement of treatment during imprisonment.
      • Require defendant to report to court at any time.
      • Require ignition interlock.
      • Require continuous alcohol monitoring devices.
      • Additional conditions as permitted by law.
      • An additional 2 years of probation as needed, but only if two or more convictions of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, Habitual User, or UDD.
    • Violations of probation:
      • Court may impose all or part of the suspended sentence (up to a year) if the defendant violates any condition of probation.
      • Probation continues while serving jail as a sanction.
      • Imprisonment sanction to be used in a manner to promote compliance with probation. NOTE: This is an important section for defense lawyers. Jail time should be used in accordance with a drug court type model.
      • Prosecution, defendant, or probation officer can apply for early termination of probation, which may be granted only upon a finding that:
        • Successful completion of Level II, and
        • Otherwise complied with probation, and
        • Early termination will not endanger public safety.
  • 48 – 120 hours public service
  • $600 - $1,000 fine
  • Additional Penalties for all offenses:
    • Required:
      • Crime Victim Compensation Fund Costs pursuant to 24-4.1-119(c).
      • Persistent drunk driver fund surcharge ($100 - $500, unless indigent).
      • $20.00 to the traumatic brain injury trust fund.
      • Rural Substance Abuse Program Fund ($1 - $20, unless indigent).
      • Restitution.
      • Costs of pre and post sentence alcohol and drug evaluation and supervision services.
      • Up to $120 for community service.
    • Discretionary:
      • Victim impact panel.
  • Aggravated Driving with a Revoked License (HTO) - HTO based on DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI:
    • The court shall convict and sentence for each offense separately.
    • The court shall impose all penalties for the alcohol-related driving offense.
    • The provisions of 18-1-408 shall not apply.
    • Probation for HTO may run concurrently with probation for alcohol/drug driving offense.
    • The Department of Revenue shall reflect both convictions on the driving record.
  • Persistent Drunk Driver Fund:
    • The Judicial Branch is added to the departments that shall coordinate the programs and goals of the fund to deter persistent drunk driving or educate the public.
    • Added to what the fund may pay for:
      • Assist in providing court-ordered treatment programs for indigent and incarcerated offenders.
      • Assist in providing ignition interlock devices for indigent offenders.
      • Assist in providing continuous monitoring devices for indigent offenders.
  • A treatment program cannot require an offender to repeat the portion of treatment that was completed while incarcerated for the current offense.

Effective Date: Offenses committed on or after July 1, 2010.

Statute Repealed:

  • § 42-4-1301(7) – DUI/DWAI penalties

Statute Created:

  • § 42-4-1307 – Penalties for traffic offenses involving alcohol and drugs
  • Statutes Amended:
  • §25-1-217 – Rural alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment program
  • §26-1-302, 304, 305,306,309 – Colorado traumatic brain injury trust fund
  • § 42-2-206 – Driving after revocation prohibited
  • §42-3-303 – Persistent drunk driver cash fund – programs to deter persistent drunk drivers
  • §43-4-402 – Source of revenue – allocation of moneys
  • §42-4-1301.3 – Alcohol and drug driving safety program

Call (303) 818-2448 if you have more questions about DUI penalties in Colorado.

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  • Case Dismissed Original Charge (DUI)
  • Case Dismissed Original Charge (DUI)
  • Plead to Deferred Judgement for DWAI Original Charge (DUI)
  • Case Dismissed Original Charge (DUI)
  • Case Dismissed Original Charge (DUI/DUID)

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    SATISFIED CLIENT; WELD COUNTY DUI

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    SATISFIED CLIENT; DUI CHARGE

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    SATISFIED CLIENT; ARAPAHOE COUNTY DWAI - DISMISSED

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    SATISFIED CLIENT; BOULDER COUNTY DUI W/ 2 PRIORS

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    SATISFIED CLIENT; DENVER COUNTY DUI

  • “My case was resolved as fair as the circumstances allowed. I am very happy with the outcome of my case.”

    SATISFIED CLIENT; ADAMS COUNTY CARELESS DRIVING CAUSING BODILY INJURY

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    SATISFIED CLIENT

  • “Mr. Orr and his entire staff have followed a very aggressive training program that puts them at the top of the class among DUI defenders.”

    SATISFIED CLIENT; DUI CHARGE

  • “Your quick and efficient dealings with the County District Attorney was a wonder to behold. By way of comparison, you managed to do in less than one hour what I had been trying to accomplish over the course of eight months and three court hearings.”

    SATISFIED CLIENT, ARAPAHOE COUNTY DUR

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