Drivers can receive charges of driving while ability impaired in Colorado for blood alcohol content as low as 0.05%. This conviction often carries less severe penalties than for driving under the influence charges, which require BAC of at least 0.08%.

If you face alcohol-related driving charges in Colorado, prepare by learning the potential penalties for a conviction.

First-time DWAI or DUI convictions

Colorado has a mandatory minimum jail sentence of two days for a DWAI and five days for a DUI. You could receive up to 180 days in jail for the lesser charge and a year for the more significant charge. Fines of $200 to $500 for a DWAI increase to $600 to $1,000 for a DUI. You will receive 24 to 48 hours of community service for a DWAI and 48 to 96 hours for a DUI.

Both crimes carry a license suspension of at least nine months. After reinstatement, you must have an ignition interlock device for at least eight months at your own expense.

Subsequent DUI and DWAI convictions

Colorado has a five-year look-back period for DUI and DWAI charges. After the first offense, you will receive the same penalties for BAC of 0.05% or higher. A conviction may result in:

  • Fines of $600 to $1,500
  • At least 10 days and up to 12 months in jail
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service
  • 12-month license suspension with IID for two to five years at your own expense

The third conviction also carries at least 60 days in jail and license revocation for an indefinite period. You will also receive increased legal consequences for DUI arrests involving bodily injury to another person, reckless driving or refusal to take a breath test at the scene of the arrest.

It is important to act quickly to assert your rights after a DUI or DWAI arrest in Colorado. You only have seven days to request a legal hearing to retain your driving privileges.