Boulder DUI officer sentenced in drunk driving plea deal

A former Boulder DUI officer who was arrested last year for suspected drunk driving has accepted a plea deal, the Daily Camera reported recently. The officer was arrested in December 2012 after she was allegedly seen weaving on Interstate 25 in Thornton, Colorado.

The officer, who had been employed by the Boulder Police Department for five years at the time of her arrest, reportedly pulled over to the side of the road on her own after being spotted by police. When an on-duty police officer approached the vehicle and asked why she had stopped, the driver replied, "I'm drunk," the Daily Camera reported. She was sentenced to one year of probation and 10 days of electronic home monitoring after pleading guilty to DUI with a blood alcohol level of over 0.02.

It is not unprecedented for a veteran law enforcement officer to be arrested for DUI in Boulder. In fact, the DUI officer was the second member of the Boulder Police Department to take a plea deal on drunk driving charges this year, according to the Daily Camera report. The other officer, a 15-year veteran of the force, was arrested for suspected DUI in November 2012. Both officers have since resigned from the department.

Colorado DUI law

As this story illustrates, being charged with a DUI is a mistake that can happen to almost anyone - even those who society may least expect - and the consequences of such an arrest can be serious and far-reaching.

Under Colorado law, even a first-time DUI conviction can carry serious penalties, including license suspension for nine months, fines of up to $1,000 and as much as one year in jail. Steeper penalties may be imposed on individuals convicted of driving with a blood alcohol level that far exceeds the legal limit.

For people with prior impaired driving convictions, the consequences of a subsequent DUI arrest and conviction can be even more serious, triggering longer jail terms, higher fines and longer license suspension periods. In addition to the criminal and administrative penalties for DUI in Colorado, a drunk driving conviction may also have a profound impact on a driver's personal life, finances and even his or her career.

Seek help quickly if arrested for DUI

To help minimize the negative consequences of a DUI arrest in Colorado, it is important to seek help from a qualified attorney right away. A lawyer with extensive experience in DUI defense can help clients protect their rights during the investigation and will work with them to understand their options. In many cases, a skilled DUI defense lawyer may also be able to negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges reduced or dropped.