AURORA DUI / DWAI DEFNESE ATTORNEY
Alcohol and drug related driving offenses include driving under the influence and driving while ability is impaired. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact Mr. Lawrence. He is a DUI attorney in Aurora, Denver and Surrounding areas. Below you will find some information that hopefully is helpful to you. In addition to criminal charges, a person will also have to deal with the DMV after being charged with a DUI. For information about the DMV, click here.
I. What is driving under the influence or driving while ability is impaired?
“Driving under the influence” means operating a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to a degree that the person is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle. See C.R.S. § 42-4-1301(1)(f). The law will presume an individual to be incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely if a chemical test comes back with a BAC above a .08 within two hours of driving.
“Driving while ability impaired” means driving a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to the slightest degree so that the person is less able than the person ordinarily would have been, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle. See C.R.S. § 42-4-1301(1)(g). The law will assume you are impaired if a chemical test comes back with a BAC above .05 within two hours of driving.
Driving includes driving and being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Actual physical control is being a position where the vehicle could be operable, having a vehicle reasonably capable of being rendered operable, in motion, or risk of being put in motion. Actual physical control is determined based on a "totality of the circumstances". Some of the key factors considered are whether the keys are in the ignition, whether the car is on, where the defendant is in the vehicle, and where the vehicle is.
It is important to remember that drugs can also form a basis for DUI or DWAI. For example, active THC levels above 5 nanograms will result in charges of driving under the influence. Additionally, a blood result showing a low BAC and low THC level could result in a DUI charge.
II. What are the penalties for alcohol related driving offenses?
As the table shows, a DUI is an unclassified misdemeanor in the state of Colorado. The maximum possible penalty for a first offense is a one year in jail or a fine. A DWAI can be punished by up to six months in jail. There is no mandatory jail unless a defendant has a BAC greater than .20. In that case, the court is required to sentence the defendant to a minmum of 10 days in jail. Jail can be served on work release or in-home detention.
The mandatory minimum for a second can be served on in-home detention or work release. To qualify for in-home detention, the first DUI or DWAI must have occurred at least five years prior to the second. If the second DUI were within five years of the second, the sentence case be served on work release. To qualify for work, release you must be employed at the time of sentencing.
The mandatory minimum for a third can be served through in-home detention or work release. However, it is highly improbable that an individual will get in-home detention for a third alcohol related driving offense. It is also unlikely that only jail sentence would be the mandatory minimum. Felony alcohol. If you are facing a third or felony DUI, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
It is important to DUI cases can be aggravated, and the state could seek a sentence greater than the mandatory minimum. For example, a motor vehicle collision or accident will always aggravate a DUI/DWAI. This would be the case regardless of if the motor vehicle collision involved a single car accident or multiple car accident. If there are prior DUI's, the Court will also look at the time between the previous convictions. Ultimately, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to determine the possible outcomes.
In addition to jail, alcohol related driving offense carry possible probation sentences. Probation will include community service, substance abuse classes and counseling, monitored sobriety, and a victim impact panel. The range of probation depends on the facts and circumstances of your case, but it is typically 1 to 2 years.
III. Should you hire a DUI attorney?
The average fact pattern of an alcohol related driving offense involves an individual going out for a little fun and having some alcoholic drinks. On the way home, a cop decides to pull the individual over for alleged swerving. Upon contact, the officer smells an odor of alcoholic beverage, see blood shot and watery eyes, and hears slurred speech. The individual is then placed under arrest and requested to take a blood or breath test. Ultimately, they are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. An individual should consult with a DUI defense attorney if charged with an alcohol related driving offense. While a DUI/DWAI offense seems fairly straight forward, it can be complicated by DMV rules concerning driving privileges and other factors.
If you need a DUI defense attorney do not hesitate to contact the Lawrence Law Firm. Lain A. Lawrence has the experience needed to represent and defend you against any alcohol related driving offense. Mr. Lawrence has defended countless individuals charged with driving under the influence. For a free consultation, call 720.369.4929. Mr. Lawrence is a DUI Attorney in Denver, Aurora, Castle Rock, and surrounding areas.