Colorado DUI Laws & Penalties

Colorado Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

Driving while under the influence (DUI) is considered a misdemeanor offense in Colorado, where stringent regulations are enforced to discourage and punish individuals engaging in behavior while driving. For Colorado motorists, understanding the seriousness of DUI laws and the consequences can aid in making informed choices and promoting safer driving habits.

Understanding DUI in Colorado

In Colorado, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. This criterion aligns with standards for defining driving.

Ramifications for DUI Violations

Colorado legislation establishes repercussions, for individuals found guilty of DUI offenses, with penalties increasing for each violation:

Colorado First-Time DUI:

If you’re caught driving under the influence in Colorado, you could face a range of penalties. A DUI offense could include a fine of up to $1,000, a license suspension of up to 9 months, and a possible jail time of up to one year. Additionally, you might have to attend alcohol education classes and participate in community service.

Colorado Second Offense DUI

A second DUI offense typically results in increased fines, a license suspension period, more jail time, and additional community service. You may also be required to join an alcohol treatment program.

Colorado First Offense (DWAI)

  • Fine:  $100-$500
  • Driver License Suspension:  8 points on the driver’s 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

For a DUI offense, the consequences become more severe with fines, potential designation as a habitual traffic offender, extended jail time, and other penalties that can impact your education and job prospects and raise your insurance costs.

Enhanced penalties may apply in situations such as if there was an accident causing injury or property damage during the DUI incident or if there was a minor in the vehicle at the time. Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) lower than the legal limit can also lead to more severe consequences.

Under Colorado’s “per se” DUI law, having a BAC at or above 0.08% means you are considered to be driving under the influence of actual impairment level. This eliminates the need for the state to prove impairment in court since exceeding the BAC limit is sufficient, for a DUI charge.

Colorado DUI Chemical Testing

  • 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 refusals 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

Implied Consent Law

In Colorado, the idea of implied consent means that when drivers are lawfully arrested for a DUI, they are considered to have agreed to undergo a test to determine their blood alcohol content (BAC). If someone refuses this test, it can lead to a suspension of their driver’s license for up to three years. Potentially make the prosecution’s case stronger.

Consequences of a DUI Conviction

The impact of being convicted of a DUI goes beyond the consequences:

  • Attending DUI classes may become mandatory.
  • There could be stigma and personal embarrassment involved.
  • Securing jobs might become more difficult.
  • Insurance premiums will likely go up.

Statistical Background

  • Colorado sees several DUI arrests annually.
  • Recent data shows that enforcement measures have been successful in reducing alcohol-related incidents on the roads.
  • The rate of repeat offenses reflects how strict the penalties are for DUI convictions.

Colorado has laws against DUIs in place to protect its residents from the risks associated with driving. These penalties serve as a reminder to all drivers to use fines, jail time, license suspensions, and educational programs as tools against this issue. The message is clear: driving under the influence is not. The state is committed to promoting driving practices on its roads. Always keep in mind to consume alcohol and think about ways of getting home if you’ve had alcohol. The consequences of being convicted of driving under the influence can be overwhelming. It may impact your life and the lives of those around you for a time.
If you want information on DUI regulations in Colorado or need assistance, it’s advisable to seek advice from a competent lawyer or check out the resources available on the Colorado Department of Transportation website.

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.