Colorado is the 17th strictest state for DUI charges in the United States. Although not in top ten but it does not stop Colorado from being a state where nobody would like to face any DUI charges. It could lead you to some harsh monetary penalties and a probable prison time.
There are two levels of DUI charges related to alcohol and both are based on the level of alcohol in the blood-
1. Driving under the influence of alcohol or Drugs (DUI).
2. Driving while the ability is impaired (DWAI).
What is BAC ( Blood Alcohol Concentration)-
BAC distinguish the concentration of alcohol in the blood which is pulsing inside the body after consuming alcohol.
For DUI charges, the legal limit of BAC for the drivers 21 years or older in 0.08%, while the limit for younger drivers is 0.02%.
For DWAI charges, the legal limit for BAC is 0.05%.
The Division of Motor Vehicles in Colorado has the authority to dismiss any person's driving license under DUI and DWAI charges regardless of any probable criminal charges against you from the court. Such penalties are known as Administrative penalties which can automatically suspend your driving privileges and as well as penalty fees and points deduction too.If caught under DUI or DWAI then you will need the best DUI lawyer in downtown Denver to represent yourself and saving you from harsher administrative penalties.
DUI 1st offense-
There are following penalties for first-time DUI offenders-
1. $600 to $1000 fine.
2. maximum 1 year prison time.
3. 96 hours community service.
4. License revocation for 9 months.
5. Alcohol education classes.
DWAI 1st offense-
There are various penalties for first-time DWAI offenders-
1. $200 to $500 fine.
2. maximum 180 days imprisonment.
3. 48 hours of community service.
4. 8 points deduction from driving license.
DUI/DWAI 1st charges for under 21 years old drivers-
1. Suspended driving license for three months and four points to your driving record.
The penalties will increase substantially for repeated offenses. If you want to challenge the administrative penalties then you will have to ask for the alcohol hearing.
A person who has refused to pay the administrative penalties can request for the alcohol hearing within 7 days after getting a revocation or suspension notice. You need to go to the DMV personally to put the request. You also need to surrender your license if you did not at the time of suspension. You may be allowed to have a temporary driving permit depending upon the severity of your case.
1. If you fail the on the spot sobriety test which involves different things like walking on a straight line, standing on one leg while answering a number of questions, and touching your nose. You will be told your rights and will be handcuffed immediately and taken to a county jail. Later a tow truck will fetch your car.
Zero tolerance against drunk and driving-
Colorado state has zero tolerance policy against drunk and driving and it will lead you to cancellation/revocation of your license and monetary penalties.
Caught under DUI-what you need to know.
If a person 21 or younger is found with a BAC between 0.02% and 0.05%, then he will face automatic revocation of his/her license.
If a person 21 or younger is get caught with alcohol in his vehicle then his license will be revoked.
As per express consent law, if you are driving a motor vehicle in Colorado then you have automatically given permission to be administered for an alcohol test by breath, blood, or urine to measure the blood alcohol content. If a traffic officer wants to check you because he suspects you to drink and drive and you refuse, then you will be required for the Installation of the Ignition Interlock for 2 years. Since January 1, 2014, if you refuse for a chemical test then will be considered a Persistent Drunk Driver.
Ignition Interlock device-
An ignition Interlock device is the breath analyzer for individuals. It requires the driver to blow into the mouthpiece of the device before starting the ignition. If the alcohol content in the blood is higher than the prescribed limit then the engine will not start. It is located inside the vehicle and is directly connected to the vehicle's ignition system.
So if you have installed the ignition interlock device then you may be allowed of an early reinstatement of your driver license suspension. This could only be done after you have served some amount of your suspension. The length of suspension depends on the type of violations you face. You must also-
1. More than 21 years or older at the time of your violation.
2. satisfies all the requirements for the reinstatement.
3. completed at least 1 month of the DUI conviction or driver's license suspension.
The annual cost for an Ignition Interlock device is approximate $1,100 and it must be purchased and installed by any Colorado state approved vendor in order to be valid.
Once a person's suspension time is completed, you will get a letter from DMV regarding reinstatement of your license. It will include the step required to purchase a new unrestricted license. Before you get the license you need to complete some conditions like filling the complete fees and program classes required.
After that, you need to fill the application for reinstatement form (Form DR 2870) and a certification ( Form DR 2598). You also need to pay the 95$ fee for reinstatement and a proof of insurance for three years (SR 22).