What is Considered a DUI in Colorado?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in the state of Colorado, and law enforcement officers diligently work to keep the roads safe from impaired drivers. Understanding the legal thresholds and consequences related to DUIs in Colorado is crucial to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of the law, whether you’re a resident or a visitor.

Legal Limits and Tests

Colorado Springs lawyerIn Colorado, drivers are considered to be driving under the influence if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. However, for commercial drivers, the limit is set at 0.04%.

Furthermore, individuals under the legal drinking age of 21 are subject to stricter laws, with a BAC of 0.02% being enough to trigger legal consequences.

Law enforcement may use various testing methods to determine a driver’s BAC, such as breath, blood, and field sobriety tests. Refusing to submit to these tests may result in immediate penalties, including suspending driving privileges.

Penalties and Consequences

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Colorado can be severe and wide-ranging, depending on various factors such as the driver’s BAC level, previous DUI convictions, and whether there was an accident or injury involved. Common penalties include fines, jail time, license suspension, community service, and mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs.

Express Consent Law

Colorado operates under an express consent law, meaning that by driving in the state, you automatically consent to chemical testing if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect impairment. Refusing a test can lead to the automatic revocation of your driving privileges, among other penalties.

DUI Per Se and DWAI

Colorado law distinguishes between DUI and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). A DWAI occurs when a driver’s BAC is between 0.05% and 0.08%, indicating that the driver is impaired to the slightest degree, even if they are under the legal DUI limit.

Repeat Offenders and Felony DUI

Repeat DUI offenders face heightened consequences. A fourth DUI conviction qualifies as a felony DUI, which entails more severe penalties, including the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.

Marijuana and Other Drugs

Besides alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, including marijuana, is also illegal in Colorado. Law enforcement officers are trained to detect impairment from various substances, and legal penalties apply similarly as they do for alcohol-related DUIs.

Work and Restricted Licenses

After a DUI conviction, it may be possible, under certain circumstances, to obtain a restricted license, allowing driving for specific purposes such as work, school, or alcohol education classes.

Colorado DUI and Minors

For drivers under 21, Colorado has zero-tolerance laws. Any detectable BAC can lead to DUI charges, license suspension, and other penalties, emphasizing the state’s commitment to keeping the roads safe from impaired driving among youth.

Conclusion and Call to Action

Facing a DUI charge in Colorado is a serious matter that requires a strategic legal defense. At Baker Law Group, our Colorado Criminal Defense Attorneys are experienced in navigating the complexities of DUI laws and dedicated to providing powerful representation to safeguard your rights and future. If you find yourself in a precarious legal situation concerning DUI charges, do not hesitate to seek the expertise of a professional Colorado Criminal Lawyer who specializes in DUI cases. Contact us today to discuss your case with a dedicated Colorado DUI Lawyer who will tirelessly work towards achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

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