The holidays are here, and if you’re like most Coloradans, then you are likely spending a lot of time in traffic between shopping for gifts and visiting family. This time of year is also a period of heavy law enforcement activity, particularly for impaired motorists. If you find yourself facing DUI charges, it is important to find local attorneys with a reputation for providing comprehensive guidance and representation throughout the process.
Peek Goldstone, LLC serves as Greeley and Erie’s trusted DUI lawyers, providing unique and dynamic strategies to help each client. We understand that this can be a time of anxiety and uncertainty, and we will help you every step of the way.
Keep reading to catch up on essential DUI information, and feel free to contact us anytime so that we can begin discussing your case.
DUI, DWAI — What is the Difference?
Many motorists face confusion between DUIs and DWAIs. It’s important to remember that both charges can be very disruptive to your freedom, finances, time, and ability to legally operate a motor vehicle. These terms have also expanded to include alcohol, controlled substances, and even over-the-counter medications. Regardless of the substance impacting your ability to drive, law enforcement may seek to charge you with:
Driving while ability impaired by drugs or alcohol (DWAI) consists of driving with signs of impairment of one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. Motorists do not need to appear incapable of driving, as any degree of impairment can result in charges. Law enforcement has developed numerous techniques to check sobriety and may come forth with DWAI charges if they find any evidence of drug- or alcohol-impaired driving.
Individuals driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) face more serious charges, as these substances have rendered the motorist “substantially incapable” of driving in a safe manner. The same roadside tests and checks are performed to judge if a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, thus posing a danger to themselves and others on the road
What if I Refuse a Blood Test?
We frequently hear this question at our law firm. Law enforcement often asks to perform a breathalyzer test to determine blood alcohol concentration, but may request a blood test if other substances are suspected. You can refuse to take the blood test, but keep in mind that you gave your “express consent” when you signed your driver’s license. This clause provides a preemptive approval for law enforcement to take your blood if they suspect you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Your refusal to take this test can result in an automatic revocation of your license, as well as a one-year suspension. Drivers who refuse a blood test will also have to explain their decision when facing sentencing.
DUI Penalties for First-Time Offenders
Many drivers who reach out to our DUI lawyers in Greeley and Erie are under the impression that their clean driving record will result in relatively minor penalties. The reality is that Colorado (and most other states) take a tough stance on driving while impaired by or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to educational classes, community service, and possible jail time, penalties for DUI or DWAI offense can also include administrative fines and other fees. Ultimately, a conviction for these charges can impact your life in a major way.
If you’re facing your first charge for driving while impaired, expect one of these two scenarios based on the specific offense:
- First DUI charge — Being “substantially impaired” in the eyes of law enforcement can result in serious legal consequences. First-time offenders face misdemeanor charges, including 96 hours of public services, up to one year in jail, and up to $1,000 in fines. Many drivers face the prospect of losing their driver’s licenses for nine months.
- First DWAI charge — Remember that DWAIs are not quite as severe in the eyes of the law but can still result in serious penalties. This is also a misdemeanor charge, meaning you may face between two to180 days in jail, 24 to 48 hours of public service, and fines up to $500. Based on the circumstances, you may not lose your license.
It’s important to keep in mind that every case is different, and the specifics of your situation can change the results for better or for worse.
Rely on Knowledgeable DUI Attorneys
Drivers have a lot of questions concerning DUI and DWAI laws and often seek out professional counsel to help navigate their cases. If you’re facing this daunting legal process, you don’t have to do it alone! Peek Goldstone, LLC is here to serve as Greeley and Erie’s trusted DUI lawyers, providing complete guidance and representation. Our team can discuss the specifics of your case, as well as provide information, discuss your options moving forward, and more.
Ready to get started? Contact us online or give us a call. Our team will put forth every effort to ensure we’ve done everything that we can to help our clients.