Standard DUI Penalties That Colorado Drivers Must Know
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Colorado. The state implements its DUI laws rigorously and prosecutes offenders accordingly. Penalties imposed depend on an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and number of convictions but generally include imprisonment, public service, license revocation, and probation.
To learn more about the different DUI penalties, feel free to browse this article today for a detailed overview. This is especially helpful if you have been recently arrested for or charged with drunk driving. Your DUI lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO will properly explain these administrative and criminal penalties to you. But it also pays to have a working knowledge about these matters related to your case.
Administrative Penalties for Drunk Driving
Under Colorado’s Expressed Consent Law, you must undergo breath, blood, saliva, or urine testing if there is probable cause to believe that you violated the state’s DUI laws. A result of 0.08 or higher in BAC means that you have failed the chemical test and are subject to license suspension.
The Colorado Department of Revenue will revoke your license for a minimum of nine months if your initial BAC test result is at least 0.08 and 12 months if your second test is also greater than the baseline. Meanwhile, failing your third or subsequent chemical test will lead to 24 months (or more) of license suspension.
The department enforces the same administrative penalties for DUI convictions. Your license will be revoked for nine months on your first offense, 12 months on your second, and 24 months on your third.
Criminal Penalties for Convictions
First Offense (Misdemeanor)
Colorado district courts impose the standard penalties for first-time offenders. These consist of five days to a year of jail time, a mandatory sentence of 48 to 96 hours of public service, a fine of $600.00 to $1,000.00, and up to two years of probation. First-offense DUI convictions with BAC test results of more than 0.200 also include a mandatory 10-day jail sentence.
Additionally, courts will require the installation of Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) in cars for 8 months. During this period, the vehicles of offenders will not start unless they pass the breath test.
Second Offense (Misdemeanor)
The penalties increase for a second offense. The maximum fine is raised to $1,500.00. The periods for the mandatory public service and probation sentences are also extended. They involve 48 to 120 hours of public service and two to four years of probation. Meanwhile, the term of IID use in cars is also stretched to two to five years.
If you are charged with a second DUI more than five years after your first arrest, you will need to spend at least 10 days in prison upon conviction. However, the mandatory minimum jail sentence will become 10 consecutive days if you are convicted within five years from your first offense. The maximum jail sentence remains at one year.
Third Offense (Misdemeanor)
The penalties for a third DUI conviction are almost the same as a second offense. You will pay a fine of $600.00 to $1,500.00, undergo public service for 48 to 120 hours, and undertake two to four years of probation. You will also use an IID for two to five years and face up to two years of jail sentence. However, the minimum mandatory jail time is increased to 60 consecutive days.
Fourth Offense (Class 4 Felony)
A subsequent offense after the third conviction is already considered a felony in Colorado. If you are charged or arrested for the fourth time, you will meet a heavier punishment prescribed by the state’s existing DUI laws. Penalties typically include two to six years of imprisonment with a three-year parole and a fine ranging from $2,000.00 to $500,000.00.
Consult an Experienced DUI Attorney Today
It is important to discuss DUI laws and penalties with a legal practitioner well versed in the field if you are facing a DUI charge. An attorney experienced in handling drunk driving cases can help you understand the administrative and criminal penalties imposed on first-time and multiple offenders and how these apply to your situation. So, do not hesitate to consult your DUI lawyer Colorado Springs, CO today.