You have a better chance of making the right decisions when facing DUI charges in Colorado when you understand the laws, how they work and how they may affect you. Therefore, read on to learn more about how the Colorado court will penalize you for a DUI charge.
Understanding DUI in Colorado
There are actually three offenses in Colorado related to intoxicated driving that people often categorize as DUI. They include:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI). When a police officer notices you are driving recklessly, or if he or she can smell alcohol on your breath, he or she can stop you to confirm that you were drunk while driving using a blood or Breathalyzer test. If the test confirms that the alcohol concentration in your body is above a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), then you will be arrested for driving under the influence.
- DUI per se. For this kind of drunk driving, the police officers must confirm that you had alcohol in your blood (0.08 BAC) within the last two hours of operating your car.
- Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). When you have consumed a lesser amount of alcohol, you likely will be charged with DWAI. For this kind of charge, your BAC should be lower than 0.08.
Colorado’s Penalties for DUI
If this is your first time facing DUI charges in Colorado, the court can sentence you to a maximum of 12 months jail time, a fine of $600 to $1000, and a license revocation for nine months.
If it is your second offense, you can also spend up to 12 months in prison, pay fines of up to $1500, and get your license revoked for a year. You can also be mandated to put in 48 to 120 hours of community service and have an ignition interlock device installed for two years.
For a third offense, the court will suspend your driver’s license for two years. After it’s reinstated, the court will order that you have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for another two years. You also must spend up to a year in prison, pay fines of up to $1500 and put in 120 hours of community service. The court will also mandate that you take alcohol education classes.