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DUI/DWAI FAQs

Denver Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorney

Under Colorado Law, a person commits DUI if they drive or have actual physical control of a vehicle while their ability to drive is substantially impaired by alcohol.

What is the legal limit in Colorado?

​​Under Colorado law, a person commits the offense of DUI if they operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than .08. A person commits the offense of DWAI if they operate a motor vehicle with a BAC greater than .05. Additionally, a person can be charged with a DUI if they have 5 nanograms of active THC in their system at the time of driving. There is not limit for THC under the DWAI statute.  

What is the possible punishment for a DUI/DWAI? 

​The maximum penalties for a DUI is 1 year in jail or a fine of $1,000. A first offense does carry 5 days in jail, but that sentence can be suspended upon the successful completion of an alcohol driving class. A first DUI with a BAC greater than .20 carries a mandatory 10 days in jail.

Second and greater DUIs carry a fine of up to $1,500. A first DWAI can be punished by up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $500. A second DUI/DWAI carries a mandatory minimum 10 days in jail up to one year.  A third offense carries a mandatory 60 days and jail up to 1 year in jail. While subsequent offenses have mandatory minimum sentences, a court will look at aggravating and mitigating factors to determine the appropriate sentence. To better understand you situation, request a free consultation with our DUI Lawyer today.

 

​What does jail entail?

​​A defendant can typically serve a jail sentence in one of three ways. Jail can be straight time — the type of sentence where you are taken to jail and sit there for the ordered amount of time. Jail could also be served on work release status — a type of sentence where you are permitted to go to and from work, but you sleep in the county jail. Jail can also be served on in-home detention — which allows you to go to and from work and other court order obligations, but you are to remain at home at all other times. To determine your options or if you are eligible for alternative sentencing please contact our DUI Attorney today for a free consultation.

 

When is a DUI considered a felony?

​A fourth DUI is considered a felony under Colorado law. For more information concerning a felony DUI please speak with our attorney today.

 

What priors are considered under Colorado Law?

Colorado law will consider any priors committed in an individual’s lifetime for purposes of determining priors for sentencing consideration. This also applies to any prior DUI committed in any other State or territory in the United States of America. The age of prior offenses is a factor the Courts will consider.  If you have questions about a DUI, and you have prior offenses, contact our firm today for a free consultation.

 

What is Express Consent?

​Express consent is a statute that requires an individual to submit to a blood or breath test if requested by an officer. The officer has to have probable cause to believe the individual is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An individual may refuse to submit to a chemical test. If they refuse, their license will be revoked and the refusal can be used as evidence against them in the criminal trial. 

 

If an officer invokes express consent, a defendant will be issued an express consent affidavit informing the driver that their license is revoked.  A revocation can be challenged if a hearing is requested within seven days of the revocation.  The hearing will then be conducted within 60 days of the date of that request.  The hearing involves an individual’s "driving privileges." 

"Privileges" is important because the burden of proof and standards at this hearing are vastly different from those in a criminal case.  If you have questions about a DMV hearing or driver's license issue after a DUI, do not hesitate to request a free consultation.  

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