Are you facing driving under the influence charges in Denver or anywhere in Arapahoe County? If so, it’s important that you not only learn the penalties for a first DUI, but that you understand the other ways a DUI can affect you.
For starters, the standard penalties for a first DUI in Colorado, include: 12 points against your driver’s license, up to a one-year license revocation, between $800 and $600 in court costs, up to a $1,000 fine, up to two years’ probation, alcohol evaluation and treatment, a class sponsored by MADD, and monitored sobriety. Aside from these penalties, let’s take a look at the other ways a DUI conviction will affect you.
1. Auto insurance. A DUI conviction will lead to skyrocketing insurance premiums. This alone can cost you thousands of dollars more than what you’d pay in the absence of a DUI conviction.
2. Employment. Most states are at-will employment states, which means an employer can discharge an employee for any reason, with the exception of discrimination. This means that if your current employer frowns upon DUI, they can legally terminate you. DUIs also come up on background checks, so a DUI affects future employment opportunities for years to come.
3. Education opportunities. For high school and college-age students, a DUI can cause them to lose a valuable scholarship. Some schools won’t allow a student to attend with a recent criminal conviction, while others will expel a student who fails to disclose a DUI on their application, or who fails to notify the school when it happens.
4. Professional licenses. As a general rule, all licensing authorities require that criminal convictions be disclosed on applications. While most DUIs are handled on a case-by-case basis, it’s common knowledge that a DUI conviction can lead to the denial or cancellation of a professional license.
5. Travelling to Canada. If you are convicted of DUI in Colorado or any other state, you will have difficulty travelling to Canada for 10 years. This is because Canada bars people with DUI convictions from entering the country. To learn more about travel restrictions, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website.
6. Immigration status. A DUI conviction will not usually affect a Green Card holder’s immigration status; however, a felony DUI or a drug-related DUI can lead to removal proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
7. Child custody. If you are arrested for DUI while a child is in your vehicle, you can face child abuse charges under Section 18-6-401(1)(a) of the Colorado Revised Statutes. On the other hand, if you are convicted of DUI and your child was not in the vehicle and you find yourself in a child custody battle, the DUI can tip the scales in the other parent’s favor.
8. Security clearance. A DUI conviction, especially a recent one, can affect one’s ability to obtain or renew security clearance. Under Guideline G of the Adjudicative Process, security clearance can be denied because of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Need a Denver DUI lawyer? Contact me at the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C.!