Colorado DUI Laws & Penalties

Colorado Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

Colorado drunk driving laws make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition to operating under the influence, Colorado drunk driving laws also make it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while a persons ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The (2) Colorado ‘drunk driving’ offenses are referred to as DUI 42-4-1301(1)(a) C.R.S. and DWAI 42-4-1301(1)(b) C.R.S. In addition Colorado also has another offense that is charged along with 1 of the other offenses. The additional charge is known as the DUI ‘per se‘ law 42-4-1301(2)(a) C.R.S. There are two ways in which the prosecution can prove DUI or DWAI:

  • A chemical test showing a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater
  • Evidence of an inability to safely operate a motor vehicle, such as field sobriety tests, video tape, police officer observation, etc…

A DUI under Colorado drunk driving laws will bring both administrative penalties (actions the DMV will take against your Colorado drivers license) and criminal penalties such as court imposed fines, community service, and jail time. The court system punishments can sometimes be reduced or pleaded down by cooperating with treatment programs etc.… but the administrative penalties cannot be changed.

Colorado First Offense DUI Penalties

  • Fine:  $300-$1,000
  • Driver License Suspension:  1 year
  • Jail:  5 days up to 1 year
  • Community Service:  48 hours – 96 hours
  • Attend an approved alcohol education class.

Colorado Second Or Subsequent Offense DUI

  • Fine:  $500-$1,500
  • Driver License Suspension:  Revoked for 1 year
  • Jail:  90 days up to 1 year
  • Community Service:  60 hours – 120 hours
  • Attend an approved alcohol education class

Colorado First Offense DWAI

  • Fine:  $100-$500
  • Driver License Suspension:  8 points on drivers license
  • Jail:  2 days up to 180 days
  • Community Service:  24 hours – 48 hours

Colorado Second Offense DWAI

  • Fine:  $300-$1,000
  • Driver License Suspension:  Revoked for 1 year
  • Jail:  45 days up to 1 year
  • Community Service:  48 hours – 96 hours

Colorado DWAI With Prior DUI

  • Fine:  $400-$1,200
  • Driver License Suspension:  Revoked for 1 year
  • Jail:  60 days up to 1 year
  • Community Service:  52 hours – 104 hours

Colorado BAC Presumptions

  • BAC level of .001% to .05%: Not under the influence
  • BAC level of .051% to .079%: Impaired and admissible as evidence in a DWAI case
  • BAC level of .08% or greater: Presumed to be under the influence and is admissible in a DUI case

Colorado Implied Consent Law

  • Chemical testing is allowed. Officer selects the test whether it be blood or breath
  • Officer must advise the driver of their right to refuse the PBT
  • Tests resulting in a BAC reading of .08% or greater are subject to a 90 day license suspension
  • Test refusal results in a 1 year license suspension; there is no penalty for refusing the PBT. Evidence is admissible in criminal cases
  • PBT results or chemical test refusal are not admissible in court except to determine whether or not the officer had probable cause
  • Test result must be made available to the defendant and defendant’s Colorado DUI attorney

Colorado DUI Chemical Testing

  • Chemical testing for police tests must be administered within 2 hours of driving in accordance with Department of Health regulations
  • Blood testing must be performed by a licensed physician, registered nurse or other qualified person
  • Independent chemical testing: No statutory provision
  • Test results: No statutory provision

Colorado DUI Plea Bargaining

An alcohol or drug-related offense can be reduced to a non-alcohol or drug-related offense if the prosecuting attorney notifies the court that a prima facie case could not be established

Colorado SR22 Insurance after a DUI

Colorado SR22 insurance is required for a period of 3-years following a drunk driving conviction and can be very expensive if you go with the wrong provider. We have partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider here in the state of Colorado and have worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won’t be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Colorado for any less.

Additional Colorado DUI Resources
  • Colorado DUI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DUI in Colorado.
  • Colorado DUI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DUI class online today.
  • Colorado SR22 Insurance – Learn everything you need to know about Colorado SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Colorado SR22 insurance.
  • Colorado DUI Lawyers – Contact one of our Colorado DUI lawyers today to discuss your pending DUI case.
  • Colorado Bail Bond Agents – Contact an Colorado bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • Colorado Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.