DUI Penalties In Colorado Can Cost You Big
Colorado law enforcement takes a strong stance against Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). Increased enforcement procedures have led to more stringent laws concerning driving laws and public safety. If you are pulled over and found unable to properly operate your vehicle, you could be facing DUI charges. Colorado officers are trained to spot impairment from marijuana, cold medication, and other factors that may affect your ability to drive safely.
Colorado drivers in the Greeley area can benefit from calling Peek Goldstone, LLC for service. Our DUI attorneys will work hard to navigate the best outcome for your case, taking steps to protect your record and your ability to drive. Even minor drug offenses stemming from moving violations can prove troublesome for many drivers, making it beneficial to seek out professional representation!
Peek Goldstone, LLC is available to take on your case, aggressively working to protect your rights every step of the way. Our experienced team and comprehensive resources will ensure you have the best approach.
DUIs Versus DWAIs
Many Colorado drivers are aware of the dangers and penalties associated with driving while intoxicated, but are not sure what the differing charges mean. If you are pulled over by law enforcement, you may be assessed one of two charges:
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charges are assessed if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is found to be more than .08% by volume.
- DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) charges are possible if your BAC is less than .08% but more than .05% and you are considered impaired by the officer.
Minors found under the influence of alcohol will face much more stringent restrictions when administered a breathalyzer test. If you are under the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol content of more than .02%, you can be assessed a fine for driving while intoxicated.
DUI Penalties In Colorado
While DWAI penalties are not as harsh in comparison to DUI laws, the charges are similar in effect. Drivers facing DUI charges in Greeley can expect different sanctions based on their driving history. If this is not your first offense, the State will seek out harsher penalties. Before taking on your case alone, be sure to reach out to our DUI lawyers for comprehensive assistance.
- First Offenses – First-time DUI offenders can expect up to one year in jail based on the severity of their crime, but often serve shorter sentences. In addition, offenders will also be subject to 12 days of community service, up to a $1,000 fine, and more. DWAI offenders can expect to lose eight points on their license, pay up to $500 in fines, and possibly spend up to one year in jail.
- Second Offenses – Second-time offenses will result in more strict penalties, including a one-year license suspension minimum for both types of offenses, up to $1,500 in fines, and a year in jail. Many drivers are also required to sign up for an interlock device and high-risk insurance.
The State of Colorado has funded a campaign to highlight the full scope of costs when it comes to DUI offenses. An infographic released by CDOT revealed that the cost of your first DUI will end up totaling nearly $14,000! Recent changes in legislation aimed to crack down on persistent drunk drivers. These “dangerously intoxicated individuals” can be identified by a system that considers anyone with a BAC over .15% to be a Persistent Drunk Driver (PDD). Even if this is your first DUI offense, you may be assessed the full penalty associated with this tag.
Peek Goldstone, LLC is dedicated to providing support and representation through every stage of the legal process. Contact us today for professional assistance.
Methods For Determining Inebriation
Police officers receive special training to detect impaired driving. If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence in Colorado, law enforcement can perform a number of field tests. If you have been pulled over and are facing DUI charges, be sure to reach out to our Greeley law firm to ensure that you rights are protected!
Field Sobriety Tests
As the name implies, drivers under suspicion of driving while intoxicated will first undergo roadside tests that aim to determine an individual’s balance and ability to follow directions. Keep in mind that these tests do not follow an objective plan and are done solely at the discretion of the officer, as they will be performing these tests to check for your impairment. Field sobriety tests are not able to prove that you were intoxicated, but they do open the option for officers to detain you on further suspicion of driving under the influence.
Drivers in Colorado have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. However, refusal to cooperate will likely escalate the officer’s questions and demands to determine your state of mind.
One common mobile method that can provide evidence to a governing court of law, mobile breathalyzers are widely used across Colorado and the rest of the nation. This method does not measure the amount of alcohol in your blood but instead measures the alcohol on your breath. Drivers who have recently left the bar are more likely to fail this test, building more evidence for a DUI case.
Breathalyzers can be useful in establishing impairment, but their accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Science has been unable to establish a clear link between the amount of alcohol on your breath and the amount in your blood. Every individual is unique, creating far different outcomes in the field.
You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer, but this refusal can result in an automatic 12-month revocation of your license
Blood Alcohol Tests
The most accurate and surefire way to prove impairment while driving is to undergo a blood test. This method involves measuring the amount of alcohol in your blood, clearing establishing an accurate BAC. Drivers who submit to this test will need to be taken to a clean, sanitary facility in order to have their blood drawn by authorized medical personnel.
These tests can prove very illuminating in court, but taking the sample during or after processing can take time. Refusal to take a blood-alcohol test will result in an automatic revocation of driving privileges.
Implied Consent Laws
The State of Colorado abides by an implied consent law, giving drivers the option of refusing chemical tests that may incriminate them. However, our expressed consent laws make it so drivers agree to consent to chemical collections if they are found under suspicion of impairment while driving. Drivers may elect not to take the tests required of them, but will automatically have penalties assessed against them. First-time offenders can lose their license for up to 12 months, while second offenses warrant a 24-month suspension, third-time offenses come with a 36-month suspension, and so on.
Refusing to take these tests may stop law enforcement from learning your BAC, but this action can be used against you in court. Peek Goldstone is here and ready to provide comprehensive support for those facing DUI penalties in Colorado.
Marijuana Laws And DUIs
As one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, Colorado has seen an influx of DUI cases affecting drivers who are unclear on the rules. Law enforcement will treat those driving under the influence of marijuana or other substances the same as alcohol, relying on several tests to determine your sobriety.
Currently, the State of Colorado relies on blood tests that measure the amount of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your body. Any amount over five nanograms can be considered impairment, yet much of decision comes from personal observation. Greeley drivers may undergo assessment by a drug recognition expert (DRE) to check for inebriation. These specialists normally undergo training in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and will have the tools needed to determine if you are impaired at the wheel.
While marijuana enforcement is up, the rules remain hazy as to what is actually considered impairment. Consumption of marijuana is legal within state lines, but in the city of Greeley, regulations are different. If you are dealing with a DUI arrest stemming from marijuana charges, be sure to reach out to our Greeley law firm for assistance!
The Consequences Of A DUI In Colorado
Simply put, drivers found guilty of a DUI from marijuana will face the same sanctions as those caught with alcohol in their systems. Whether you’re drugged driving or driving while intoxicated, law enforcement can assess you a number of consequences, including:
- Fines. The fiscal cost of your DUI can cost thousands of dollars, ranging from court fees to community service charges, victim assistance, and more.
- Jail time. A recent law change has made Colorado DUIs a class 4 felony charge after your third conviction. Some drivers may face up to six years in prison.
- License restrictions. Greeley drivers can expect a revocation of their license, often at yearly increments based on the number of convictions on your record. Some drivers may not hold a steering wheel for years!
- Insurance regulations. Colorado drivers are required to sign up for sr22 insurance, a policy designed specifically for “high-risk” drivers. While you will regain your driving privileges, remember that DUI insurance is not cheap.
- Ignition Interlock Devices. Also known as IID, this device can be installed upon approval to allow for early driving reinstatement. This machine requires drivers to blow into a tube to measure for alcohol. You can expect a lot of maintenance, repairs, and upkeep, so be prepared.
Undergoing A DUI Arrest
Colorado law enforcement has increased measures to increase safety, relying on an aggressive drunk driving campaign that seeks to educate the community. If you are pulled over and given a roadside sobriety test, officers will be watching for signs of impairment. Upon failure, drivers will be placed under arrest and read their rights.
Based on your location, you will then be taken to the jurisdictional jail and booked for driving under the influence. Your vehicle will likely be towed for a later pick up, leaving you to focus on processing and preparing for your court dates.
Complete Representation For Greeley Drivers
Peek Goldstone has joined forces to become your top DUI lawyers in Greeley and across Northern Colorado. Our local attorneys know the intricacies of DUI laws specific to the state, delivering comprehensive guidance through every stage in your legal process. We’ll work hard to minimize the damages to your life, developing a personalized approach that fits your unique situation.
Facing a DUI arrest alone can be scary. Instead, be sure to reach out to Peek Goldstone, LLC for assistance. Our Greeley law firm is here and ready to take on your case. Contact us today or fill out the form below for assistance.