First DUI Penalties in Colorado


Are you facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges for the first time in Denver or anywhere else in Colorado? If so, you are going to have a number of questions and understandably so. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to explain the basics of a Colorado DUI and the penalties involved for a first DWAI and DUI offense.

The State of Colorado prohibits people from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent where their ability to drive is impaired by these substances. In Colorado, DUI offenses are broken down into two categories: 1) driving under the influence (DUI), and 2) driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Here's what you need to know:

  1. If a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds 0.05%, but is less than 0.08%, they commit the offense of DWAI.
  2. If a driver’s BAC is 0.08% or more, he or she is guilty of DUI.
  3. If a driver’s blood registers at 5 nanograms or more of delta-9 THC (this is the active substance in marijuana), the driver is said to be “under the influence” of one or more drugs.
  4. If a driver’s BAC is 0.15% or above, the court may classify the defendant has a “persistent drunk driver” and subject them to stiffer penalties.

First DWAI & DUI

Let’s take a look at the penalties for a first DWAI or DUI:

First DWAI (BAC below 0.08%)

  1. Misdemeanor
  2. Up to $500 fine
  3. Up to 180 days in jail
  4. No driver license suspension
  5. 8 points added to driving record

First DUI (BAC at or above 0.08%)

  1. Misdemeanor
  2. Up to $1,000 fine
  3. Up to one year in jail
  4. 9-month driver license suspension
  5. 12 points added to driving record

Note: On some Colorado DUI cases, a portion of the defendant’s minimum mandatory jail sentence can be suspended if he or she agrees to successfully complete an alcohol treatment program.

Facing DUI charges in the Greater Denver Area? Contact my firm for a free case evaluation by calling (720) 809-8262.