If you were recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Denver, or anywhere else in Colorado, you probably have a lot of questions. Will your driver’s license be suspended? Will you have to go to jail? How much will the fines be? How long will the DUI be reported on your criminal record? In order to shed light on the penalties for DUI, I’m going to describe them below.
In Colorado, like other states, it is illegal for someone to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or to the extent that his or her ability to drive is impaired because of alcohol or drugs. These are known as DUI and DWAI.
To “drive under the influence” requires that the individual consumed alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs so that he or she is substantially incapable, either mental, physically or both mentally and physically to exercise due care in the safe operation of a motor vehicle. To “drive while ability impaired” is similar to DUI; however, requires someone be affected to the slightest degree so that they are less able than they ordinarily would have been to exercise due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05% but less than 0.08%, it is possible that a person’s ability to drive was impaired by alcohol, and it can result in a DWAI.
- With a BAC of 0.08% or more, the law considers the driver to be “under the influence of alcohol.”
- With a BAC of 0.15% or more, the defendant may be considered a “persistent drunk driver,” and therefore, he or she may face stiffer penalties.
What Are the Penalties?
The penalties for first, second, and third DUI are different, but for the purposes of this post I am going to discuss the penalties for a simple, first-time DUI with a BAC of .08% or higher.
First DUI in Colorado:
- 12 points against your license which can cause a license revocation for up to a year
- Alcohol evaluation and treatment
- Court costs of $600-800
- Fine of $600-1000
- VIP; a class sponsored by MADD
- Probation of up to 2 years
- Monitored sobriety
Further, the criminal case is separate from any initial DMV license consequences. A first express consent revocation is 9 months and could require the ignition interlock device installed for up to two years.
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