Driving under the influence in the state Colorado can result in a DUI, DWAI or DUID criminal charge depending on the blood alcohol content (or illegal/prescription drug blood level) of the driver involved. The Colorado Department of Transportation may revoke your license for up to 9 months for first-time offenders and up to 2 years for multiple DUI offenders and it's possible your license will be restricted to only operate cars with an Interlock Ignition Device installed.
What Are Current Thresholds for DUI & DWAI in Colorado?
The nation's attitude shift about the dangers of drinking and driving meant state legislatures had to constrict the legal definition for inebriated driving. If you're over the age of 21, the state of Colorado's current BAC threshold for DWAI is .05. However, people can get charged with DWAI even if their BAC is under .05.
A police officer will often say that you failed roadsides and that your eyes were bloodshot and watery or that you were fumbling and stumbling. Many district attorneys will prosecute these cases even with low BAC's. It's worth remembering that even if you blow triple zeros, an officer can still charge you with DUI or DWAI if they suspect that you are under the influence of drugs.
Do You Know? The law makes no distinction in DUI/DWAI/DUID cases, between legal prescription drugs and unlawful narcotics.
A legal adult (over 21) will be prosecuted for DUI instead of DWAI if their BAC is .08 or higher. The government will still usually have to prove that you were “substantially incapable of driving.” This differs from DWAI, where the standard is “impaired even to the slightest degree.”
What Are Punishment Guidelines for DUI/DWAI Offenders?
Given BAC levels as low as .05 can result in DUI/DWAI charges in Colorado, it's easy to see why people accused of drinking and driving feel obligated to hire an experienced DUI Defense Attorney to help protect their freedom. First time DUI offenders in Colorado face serious consequences including potential incarceration, loss of driving privileges (usually one year), weekly alcohol awareness classes, monitored sobriety evaluations and restrictions on your driver's license when it's reinstated like only being able to operate motor vehicles equipped with ignition interlock systems.
What's the Most Common Mistake Made By First Time DUI Offenders?
Not comprehending the seriousness of the punishment involved nor the lifetime of personal, professional and financial chaos a drinking and driving conviction can cause.
Facing Criminal Charges for the First Time?
Many people accused of DUI are being treated as a criminal for the first time in their lives. Being unsettled with the proceeding is typical.
You may have spent your first night ever in a jail cell and also know exactly how humiliating it feels to be handcuffed on the side of the road. This experience doesn't make you a bad person nor does it initiate a new career as a hardened criminal. You simply made a mistake and must deal with the consequences in a timely manner.
Do I Need a Lawyer? DUI Laws Don't Seem to Offer Leniency
It's true that the penalties associated with drunk driving convictions in Colorado are well established and include clear sentencing guidelines for courts to follow.
What's has not yet clearly determined is which DUI defense strategy has the best chance to reduce the penalties your facing while seeking to dismiss the charge entirely.
In order to do this, we'll need to document the events of your arrest as clearly as possible for our DUI defense team. You should be prepared to answer questions like what were the reasons given for your initial traffic stop. Were you asked to do a field sobriety test or commanded to participate? What was the probable cause? Did you submit a blood sample or take a breathalyzer test? Were you under careful observation for the 20 minutes before the BAC test was administered? How much were you drinking that night and when did you start? Is there any previous legal entanglement that might elevate the severity of your DUI charge?
What Are the Next Steps?
Police Officers and District Attorneys are not perfect, they make mistakes. It's entirely possible errors were made at some point in your drunk driving arrest that can provide the necessary leverage to significantly reduce any penalties or, if possible, dismiss the charges entirely.
Do You Know? Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal has defended over 1,000 clients facing Driving Under the Influence charges in the state of Colorado!
Your first meeting with Attorney Rosenthal will focus on the string of events that led to your arrest. Details about your interactions with the police will be confirmed including the sobriety testing process, the facts of the arrest, the intake activity, the facilities to which you were taken, the treatment provided while there and the timeline of your release to see if any mistakes were made along the way.
Contact Our Law Office Today
To speak with our firm's criminal law division specializing in DUI/DWAI defense, simply pick up the phone and call 303-825-2223. If you're arraignment date is approaching soon, include those details as well so we can clear our calendars for your hearing! Whichever contact method works for you works for us however, the quicker you contact Attorney Rosenthal, the better start we can get mounting your defense.
Get Back to the Life You Had Now
At this point, the only real harm you could do is failing to seek the advisement of a seasoned Colorado DUI lawyer about your predicament. Don't make a mistake and underestimate the situation you're facing. The negative consequences a guilty DUI/DWAI conviction brings will follow you for the rest of your life.
Get the help you need and put this behind you for good! 303-825-2223