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What Are the Consequences and Penalties for a Second DUI in Colorado?

If you have been arrested for a second DUI in Colorado, you are no doubt wondering, what is the penalty? In Colorado, second offense DUI penalties are considerably more serious than first offense penalties. Don’t even think about trying to handle a second-offense DUI on your own. A seasoned DUI defense attorney is an absolute must. Colorado DUI Law In Colorado, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while you are intoxicated on any substance, including but not limited to alcohol. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more exceeds the legal limit. Colorado imposes a wide variety of penalties for second offense DUI.  Possible Penalties for a Second DUI Offense in Colorado If you are convicted of a second offense DUI in Colorado, you will be classified as a “persistent drunk driver.” This can result in the following penalties: 10 days to a year in jail,  Four years of probation,  $600 to $1,500 in fines,  48 to 120 hours of community services,  Mandatory DUI classes,  A one-year driver’s license suspension,  Two years of mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) on your car,  12 points on your driver’s license,  and Special insurance coverage requirements for at least 2 years. An experienced DUI attorney, however, can greatly mitigate the consequences of a 2nd DUI in Colorado. With an effective defense, you might walk free. Otherwise, you might secure a plea bargain down to DWAI (see below) or some other form of mitigation. Does Colorado Have a “Lookback Period”? Some states have a “lookback period” that limits how far back the authorities will look when determining if you have a previous DUI. If the state has a 10-year lookback period, for example, you can be charged with a second DUI only if your first DUI occurred in the last 10 years. A DUI that occurred 12 years ago, for example, would not count against you.  Colorado has no lookback period. That means that Colorado can charge you with a second dui offense no matter how long ago your first DUI occurred. In other words, a DUI from 2021 is a second offense even if your first DUI offense occurred in 1979 and you accumulated no further DUIs in the intervening time.   It might be possible to convince a court to grant you leniency, or at least a favorable plea bargain, if an exceptionally long period has elapsed since your first DUI. Previous DUIs from Other States Strictly speaking, it doesn’t matter which state charged you with your first DUI一the penalty for a second DUI is the same in Colorado. In almost all cases, you will not be able to hide a US DUI from a Colorado prosecutor. This is because the Driver License Compact (DLC) is an agreement among the various US states to share information about driving records.  Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin are currently not members of the DLC, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t share information with Colorado. It does mean, however, that the process is likely to be more complex and the chances are greater that Colorado will not discover a previous DUI that occurred in one of these states. It is possible that any of these states might join the DLC in the future. It is definitely not a good idea to lie under oath about your previous driving record. This advice applies even if your first DUI comes from a state that is not a member of the DLC. Consult with an experienced Colorado DUI defense attorney about how to handle an out-of-state prior DUI. DWAI Colorado can charge you with DWAI, a lesser charge, if your BAC is between 0.05% and 0.08% but your driving suggests that you are nevertheless intoxicated. The penalties for DWAI are 2 to 180 days in jail, $200 to $500 in fines, 24 to 48 hours of community service, and 8 points off your driver’s license. There is no license suspension for a first offense. Drugged Driving Driving while intoxicated with drugs—even a legal prescription drug—is DUI in Colorado. For example, driving with over 5 nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood is illegal in Colorado. There is no universal formal standard of intoxication (such as the BAC for alcohol intoxication) that applies to driving while “high” on other drugs.    Third and Fourth Offense DUI A third offense DUI in Colorado results in penalties that are more serious than second offense penalties. This includes a minimum 60 day jail sentence upon conviction. A fourth offense is a felony that can result in two to six years in prison. Don’t forget—a fourth offense means a Colorado DUI plus three prior offenses anywhere in the US at any time in your driving history.   Contact the Lux Law Firm to Start Fighting Back Today The Colorado criminal justice system is merciless and brutally competitive. You are going to need experienced and aggressive representation to fight off a second DUI. We have successfully defended many criminal defendants in exactly your position. Contact the Lux Law Firm at 719-249-6290 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | DUI Defense

What Should You Do If You Have a First Offense DUI or DWAI in Colorado?

The world might seem like it was coming down on you after police locked you up for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving with ability impaired (DWAI) in Colorado. Why wouldn’t you feel that way? You’ve been arrested, the police took your driver’s license, and now you have to go to court to face criminal charges. The fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. You are justified to wonder what you should do next.  Talking to a Colorado Springs DUI defense lawyer is the best move you can make immediately after your arrest. Colorado Springs DUI attorney Austin M. Lux should know. He was a decorated prosecutor and now he uses all of his extensive experience to help people just like you. Austin will review your case thoroughly and work closely with you to develop a defense strategy to achieve the best outcome possible for your DWAI Colorado first offense or Colorado DUI first offense.  What Are the Colorado DUI Laws for a First Offense? DUI and DWAI for a first offense in Colorado carry the same penalties, for the most part, even though the charges are slightly different. Colorado created its DWAI laws and DUI laws in the same statute. In its entirety, that statute criminalizes driving under the influence, driving with ability impairment, and driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater. Driving with a BAC of 0.08 or greater is called DUI per se. DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI without an accident or as a first offense is a misdemeanor.  So, What Does DUI, DWAI, and Driving at 0.08 BAC Mean?  DUI means that a person is operating a motor vehicle after drinking alcohol, consuming drugs, or a combination of both. For this act to be a crime, the driver’s ability to drive must be substantially impaired. This means that you do not have the physical or mental ability to exercise clear judgment, use due care, or maintain physical control of the vehicle.  DWAI means essentially the same thing as DUI, except that the police can charge you so long as they have any evidence that alcohol, drugs, or both affected you to the slightest degree while driving.  DUI per se means that a person gave a chemical test for alcohol and the person’s BAC is 0.08% or higher. The police do not need any evidence that the person was actually impaired—the chemical test result is sufficient. A chemical test may consist of a blood or breath test.  The law places a time limitation on the validity of a chemical test. A person could be found to be guilty of DUI per se only if the person took the chemical test within two hours after driving. Otherwise, the test results are irrelevant for that charge.  Nonetheless, the prosecution could pursue charges alleging DUI or DWAI against you. DWAI Colorado First Offense Punishments A DWAI Colorado first offense carries less severe consequences than DUI per se or DUI Colorado first offense. The potential jail time for a DWAI first offense in Colorado is two to 180 days. However, the judge can suspend the two-day minimum sentence as long as the offender attends a substance abuse evaluation and completes the recommended treatment. Successfully completing the probationary period means you will not spend any time in jail. Notwithstanding, the minimum jail sentence is ten days if the chemical test result was 0.20 or greater. Fines for a DWAI Colorado first offense range from $200 to $500. The court will add costs as well. The court may also sentence you to 24 to 48 hours of community service and assess a $120 fee. Fortunately, the court will not impose any additional license loss. DUI Colorado First Offense Penalties  DUI and DUI per se charges are more severe than DWAI. Under Colorado DUI laws, a first offense carries a minimum five-day jail term of up to one year. The judge can suspend the five-day jail sentence if you attend a substance abuse evaluation. You need to successfully complete any recommended treatment. As with DWAI, a chemical test that results in a 0.20 BAC or above triggers a 10-day minimum jail term. Other penalties for a Colorado DUI first offense conviction include: Fines ranging from $600 to $1,000; Court costs and surcharges; 48 to 96 hours of community service along with a $120 fee; and License revocation for nine months if you did not lose your license administratively—however, the court must revoke your license for one year if the conviction results from ingesting a controlled substance. These are the criminal penalties you face. You could face other consequences as well. Those include job loss, losing your right to carry a firearm, and paying increased auto insurance rates. Administrative Penalties for DWAI Colorado First Offense Colorado, like every other state, enacted an implied consent law. The implied consent law means that everyone operating on a public roadway consents to take a chemical test. However, the police must believe the driver is impaired. Refusing a chemical test requires the motor vehicle department to automatically revoke your license. Additionally, they will revoke your license if your chemical test result is 0.08 or above.  The license suspension for a first-time offender whose BAC is 0.08 or above is nine months. You could apply for a restricted license after serving one month of the revocation. Also, you must take alcohol education classes and consent to use an ignition interlock device. If you refuse the chemical test, you must serve two months of the license revocation and agree to use an ignition interlock device to get a restricted license. Also, you must take an alcohol education class. Contact Colorado Springs DUI Defense Attorney Right Away for Help with Your DWAI Colorado First Offense Sitting down with Colorado Springs DUI defense lawyer Austin Lux to discuss your options right away. Acting quickly can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty associated with a DUI charge. With Austin Lux, an award-winning defense lawyer on your...

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | DUI Defense

Charged with a DUI from Marijuana in Colorado

Over the past decade, society has taken a more relaxed attitude when it comes to marijuana.  Colorado was one of the first two states, along with Washington, to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. However, despite the fact that adults can purchase, consume, and grow marijuana legally, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. At the Lux Law Firm, founding attorney Austin Lux represents clients facing all types of DUI cases, including marijuana DUIs in Colorado. As a seasoned trial advocate, Attorney Lux has extensive experience handling DUI cases and commands an impressive knowledge of the complex laws that govern these claims. And as a former prosecutor, he understands how the government handles marijuana DUIs—and knows what it takes to beat even the toughest cases. If you would like to speak with an experienced Colorado DUI defense attorney, please contact us online today. Colorado Marijuana DUI Laws While it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, marijuana DUI cases are quite different from those that involve drinking and driving. For one, alcohol DUI cases impose a “per se” blood alcohol limit. This means that if your blood-alcohol limit is over a certain amount, you are guilty of drunk driving. This is the case even if there was no evidence that alcohol actually impaired your ability to drive. Marijuana DUI cases are different in that there is no “per se” limit. Instead, prosecutors must prove that you were under the influence of marijuana and that the drug impaired your ability to drive. In a way, this makes it harder to prove a marijuana DUI case because it isn’t enough to prove that marijuana was in your system. That said, there is a presumption that marijuana-impaired your ability to drive if you had more than five nanograms of THC in your system. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana and is what gives users a “high” or “stoned” feeling. When you consume marijuana, your body immediately starts breaking down the drug in a series of chemical reactions. Initially, the byproduct of these reactions is the creation of THC. Over time, the body continues to break THC down into inactive metabolites. Therefore, marijuana can remain in your system for up to several weeks after consumption. But the presence of inactive metabolites in your blood does not mean that you are high or that you cannot drive safely. Thus, just because you have marijuana “in your system” doesn’t mean that you were intoxicated. How Colorado Proves a Marijuana DUI Case To prove you guilty of a Colorado DUI, the prosecution must establish that you had THC in your system and that your ability to drive was impaired. Unlike alcohol, marijuana does not show up on a breath test. Thus, police officers will typically administer a blood test if they think you were driving under the influence of marijuana. However, the government does not need to present chemical test results to prove you were under the influence of marijuana. In some cases, prosecutors will proceed with a case even if there was no blood test performed. For example, if you refuse to provide a blood sample prosecutors can still go forward with the case. In these situations, the prosecution may rely on other evidence of intoxication, such as: Bloodshot or watery eyes; The smell of marijuana in the car; The presence of marijuana in the car; The presence of a pipe or other drug paraphernalia; and Other indications that you were high. Unsafe to Drive Regardless of whether the prosecution has chemical test results, it still needs to show that you were in a condition that made it unsafe for you to drive. Prosecutors typically try to establish this element through a police officer’s observations. For example, the government may try to prove you were impaired by marijuana by showing: You caused an accident; You drove too fast or too slowly; You couldn’t stay in your lane; You drove erratically; or You violated any other traffic law. Given the complexity of Colorado DUI laws, there are many defenses to these cases. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the laws as they apply to your case and develop a compelling defense. Defenses to Marijuana DUI Cases There are potential defenses to every crime, and marijuana DUIs are no exception. Defenses to a marijuana DUI charge typically involve challenging either the elements of the offense or the manner in which the officers obtained the evidence the prosecution intends to use against you. Challenging the Elements of a Marijuana DUI On the most basic level, prosecutors must prove two things to successfully bring a marijuana DUI case against you. First, that you were under the influence of marijuana, and second, that the marijuana-impaired your driving. The prosecution must prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If your defense attorney can cast enough doubt on either of these elements, you may beat the case. Common ways to attack the elements of a marijuana DUI case include establishing the following: You were not under the influence of marijuana; Your driving was not dangerous; or A traffic violation was not the result of marijuana intoxication. If you can prevent the prosecution from proving the elements of the offense, the judge or jury will have no choice but to find you not guilty. Challenging the Evidence in a Marijuana DUI Case The second way to beat a DUI case is by challenging the evidence. In most marijuana DUI cases, this involves filing a motion to suppress. A motion to suppress is a pre-trial filing in which your attorney argues the evidence the prosecution wants to use against you is not legally admissible. Typically, motions to suppress surround the manner in which the police officers obtained evidence. In this context, “evidence” may be physical evidence, such as marijuana found inside the car or an officer’s observations of intoxication. You can also seek to suppress the results of a blood test. For example,...

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Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Colorado

Colorado imposes serious consequences on drivers convicted of driving under the influence. These potential penalties increase in severity if a driver receives multiple DUI convictions. Luckily, a first-time DUI conviction in Colorado carries the potential of the least severe punishment.  The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) published a report analyzing over 26,000 DUI cases filed in Colorado in 2018. The report indicated that Colorado prosecutors convicted the driver of DUI in 88% of the cases. Over one-third of the individuals convicted of DUI already had at least one DUI conviction.  An experienced DUI defense attorney can vigorously defend your DUI case, aiming to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Attorney Austin M. Lux with the Lux Law Firm possesses extensive knowledge of Colorado’s strict DUI laws. Contact us today for assistance with your DUI. What Happens if You Get a DUI in Colorado? Colorado prohibits operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Colorado considers “under the influence” to include when the driver: Has his or her ability to drive safely substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol; or Has a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.  First-time DUI convictions carry a variety of consequences, including: Between five days and one year in jail; A fine up to $1,000; License revocation for up to nine months; Up to 96 hours of community service; and Substance abuse education classes.  Drivers convicted of DUI with a BAC above .15% receive a “persistent drunk driver” classification, resulting in enhanced penalties.  Unlike some states, Colorado does not have a “lookback period” after which prior drunk driving offenses are removed from your record. Any previous DUI in a U.S. state is considered a prior DUI. Before accepting a plea agreement, individuals charged with DUI should consult with a DUI defense attorney about options available in their case. Failure to do so could result in the waiver of several constitutional rights. Colorado’s Express Consent Law Colorado has an express consent law, meaning that every person driving on Colorado’s roads agrees to submit to a chemical test if a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The refusal to submit to a chemical test carries penalties separate from a DUI charge. The consequences of refusing a chemical test include: The refusal can be used as evidence of guilt at trial; Designation as a “persistent drunk driver”; and Your license will be suspended for one year by the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  In the event your license is suspended for one year, completing alcohol education courses and agreeing to installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to two years creates the opportunity to have your license reinstated earlier. Additional Consequences Associated with a DUI Conviction In addition to the possibility of jail time and probation, courts enforce additional restrictions on drivers convicted of DUI. Drivers with a DUI conviction often face consequences stemming from their DUI outside of the penalties ordered by the court. Ignition Interlock Devices Colorado requires drivers with first-time DUI convictions to install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle for at least eight months. An IID is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle designed to measure the alcohol in the driver’s breath. The IID prevents the vehicle from starting until a breath test is completed. For individuals who use drive as a part of their job responsibilities, an IID could affect your employment.  Additionally, IID installation and maintenance is not cheap and the cost is borne by the offender.  Other Possible Repercussions A DUI conviction goes on your permanent criminal record and will appear anytime someone runs a background check. In fact, Colorado does not allow traffic convictions to be sealed or expunged. Some employers prohibit employees from having a DUI conviction on their criminal record. A DUI conviction could result in termination depending on the industry of employment. Insurance companies increase rates for drivers convicted of DUI. Additionally, certain housing applications disqualify applicants with a prior criminal conviction. Between fines, alcohol education classes, and other requirements, monetary obligations negatively impact many drivers convicted of DUI. How Can a Colorado DUI Attorney Help Me?  An attorney with experience handling Colorado DUI cases can present arguments to the prosecutor for why your DUI charges should be lessened or dropped. Common defenses to DUI charges include: Inadequately trained police officers; Unreliable chemical test results; Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop; Improperly administered field sobriety tests; and Lack of proper Miranda warning. Depending on the circumstances of your traffic stop and arrest, a DUI attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to have your case dismissed or your charges reduced.  Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney with The Lux Law Firm Today Attorney Austin Lux began his legal career as a Deputy District Attorney, prosecuting dozens of criminal cases and delivering numerous trainings to local law enforcement agencies. Austin made the transition to private practice in order to advocate for his individual clients in the courtroom.  Austin’s experience as a former prosecutor provides him with inside knowledge of the process of DUI convictions. In 2020, Austin was named a Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Under 40 in Colorado, an honor awarded to less than 1% of Colorado criminal defense attorneys. Contact our office today for assistance with your DUI case.

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Colorado Felony DUI Laws Overview

Charges of felony DUI in Colorado are severe. You face felony DUI jail time and other repercussions if you stand convicted of a Colorado DUI felony. Therefore, you need to do everything you can to protect your rights. Would you know where to turn if you face criminal charges that could ruin your life?  Award-winning Colorado DUI defense lawyer Austin Lux possesses the necessary knowledge, skill, and determination to make a difference when you and your family need it most. You can rely on former county prosecutor Austin Lux to fight vigorously to protect your valuable rights. To speak with an experienced Colorado DUI lawyer, please contact us today. Is a DUI Considered a Felony in Colorado? Colorado law establishes a felony charge for DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, and DUID. Most folks understand DUI as an abbreviation for driving under the influence. DUI per se refers to a chemical test result of 0.08 or greater. However, Colorado also uses the abbreviation DWAI or driving while ability impaired, as well. DWAI refers to a chemical test result between 0.05 and 0.079 when the police have the slightest evidence of intoxication. Additionally, Colorado law prohibits driving under the influence of drugs or DUID. We will refer to these charges collectively as DUI. The penalties for these charges are similar. The difference between the three charges lies in the evidence the police plan to use against you.  How Many DUIs Are a Felony in Colorado? Under Colorado law, DUI charges are misdemeanor offenses until you have three prior convictions. Your fourth and subsequent DUI offenses are Class 4 felonies.  Colorado, unlike some other states, uses a lifetime lookback rule for prior DUI convictions. Under Colorado law, any conviction for a DUI in any state or U.S. territory, no matter how old, serves as evidence of a prior conviction.  State law restricts prior convictions to convictions for separate offenses instead of several charges stemming from one incident. Also, state law allows prosecutors to use convictions from other states or territories. These convictions count as long as the acts constituting a DUI crime in those jurisdictions would be a crime if committed in Colorado as an adult. Colorado law allows prosecutors to use convictions for various offenses to prosecute a Colorado DUI felony. The prosecution can use any combination of convictions for DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, DUID, vehicular homicide involving alcohol or drugs, and vehicular assault.  Colorado law explicitly requires the prosecutor to set out the prior convictions in an indictment or information. The rule is essential to a person facing a felony DUI in Colorado. As we will see later, attacking the prior convictions might be a valid defense to a Colorado DUI felony. This defense could not attack the prior convictions if the prosecutor did not notify the person charged. What Is a DUI Conviction Under Colorado Law? Colorado law explicitly defines conviction as a verdict of guilty. A judge or jury could enter the guilty verdict after a trial or pleading guilty. The term conviction also applies to deferred judgments and sentences as well as deferred adjudications.  However, the prosecution cannot use a deferred sentence or adjudication against you as a prior conviction if you completed the deferred sentence successfully. Thus, the prosecution could use a deferred sentence or deferred adjudication against you if you failed to satisfy the conditions set by the court, or you pick up another offense while on a deferred sentence or deferred adjudication. What are the Felony DUI Penalties in Colorado? Colorado strictly punishes individuals convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense. Felony DUI in Colorado is a Class 4 felony. As such, the sentencing judge could sentence you to prison for up to six years, which is the maximum sentence for a Class 4 felony.  Colorado law gives judges some leeway. Not every person convicted of felony DUI will go to prison. Under Colorado law, a felony DUI can result in a jail sentence of 90 to 180 days if the judge determines that is the proper sentence. Alternatively, the judge could sentence you from 120 days up to two years in jail if you qualify for a work-release program.  As with every crime, the penalty depends on the facts of the case, the person’s history. The judge could also reduce the penalty if they find extraordinary mitigating factors exist. However, the prosecution has some say in the potential penalties. The prosecution has another powerful tool it could use to exact even stricter punishment. The judge could sentence you from the midpoint of the Class 4 felony sentencing range (four years) up to double the maximum sentence (12 years) for a Felony DUI conviction. However, the prosecutor must prove that aggravating circumstances exist before the judge could sentence you to an enhanced penalty.  Additional Felony DUI Penalties Colorado’s DUI law authorizes the sentencing judge to impose additional sanctions for a Colorado DUI felony. In addition to incarceration, the judge must impose sanctions such as: 48 to 120 hours of community service; A monetary fine between $2,000 and $5,000; Level II alcohol or drug education and treatment; Two years of probation;  Parole for at least three years; and Two years of mandatory ignition interlock use after the reinstatement of driver’s license. The minimum driver’s license revocation for a felony DUI in Colorado is one year. Reduced Sentence for Colorado DUI Felony Colorado’s DUI law expressly prohibits plea bargaining unless the prosecution in good faith convinces the judge that the case is weak as initially charged. Only then can the judge accept a plea to a non-alcohol, a non-drug-related crime, or underage drinking and driving.  However, the law’s prohibition on negotiating a DUI case to reckless driving or other lesser offense does not mean that the judge will throw the book at you for a Colorado felony DUI conviction. Colorado’s DUI statute expects judges to examine whether incarceration is the best option in each specific case. The judge must consider other options if you never had a...

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Colorado DUI Laws: Fines and Penalties

Learn What You Need to Know If You Face a DUI in Colorado Facing a DUI in Colorado could lead to grave consequences. Colorado DUI laws are some of the toughest in the nation. Thus, you will need the assistance of a highly-skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer.  If police arrested you in Colorado Springs, you should not wait to contact a DUI lawyer who has a proven track record of successfully defending DUI cases. Austin M. Lux was a prosecutor. Now he is an award-winning Colorado Springs DUI defense attorney. Austin focuses his practice on defending people charged with a Colorado DUI, among other criminal offenses. You can rely on Austin’s experience and extensive knowledge of Colorado DUI laws to help avoid the harsh consequences of a mistake. Colorado DUI Penalties Under Colorado DUI law, a person can be convicted of DUI if they operate a motor vehicle when  Their ability to drive safely is substantially impaired by either drugs or alcohol, or  They have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or greater. Driving under the influence (DUI), driving with your ability impaired (DWAI), and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) are crimes that fall under the same law. Penalty for First Offense DUI in Colorado A first DUI offense charge in Colorado is a misdemeanor. The penalty for a first DUI conviction in Colorado is surprisingly harsh. After a conviction for a first DUI in Colorado, if you took a breath test or chemical test that gave a result of 0.08 or greater, you face: Between five days and one year in jail; A fine not to exceed $1,000; Compulsory license revocation of up to nine months; Community service obligation up to 96 hours; and Alcohol education classes. The judge could put you on probation to ensure that you satisfy all the requirements following a first DUI conviction. Mandatory Jail Time for a DUI First Offense Prosecutors can seek an enhanced penalty against a person facing DUI charges in Colorado for many reasons. Enhanced penalties often include mandatory jail time, along with other sanctions. The prosecution could seek an enhanced penalty if you have a breath or chemical test resulting in a BAC of 0.20 or greater. In that case, the judge must sentence you to at least 10 days in jail. The judge has the discretion to grant you a work release or serve your sentence on home confinement while wearing a GPS ankle bracelet. The Difference Between DUI Per Se and DWAI DUI per se refers to providing a chemical test result or a breath test result of 0.08 or higher. DWAI is a charge that can be based solely on the observations of the police officer. To support a conviction for DWAI, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused drove when the person’s ability to do so safely was impaired. This can be done even without the results of a chemical test or if the chemical test results fall between 0.051 and 0.079 BAC. The penalties for a DWAI conviction are less severe than a conviction for DUI per se. The potential sentence for a conviction of DWAI includes: Two days to 180 days in jail; A fine not to exceed $500; 48 hours of community service; and Eight points against your driver license. The judge has the authority to place you on probation for a conviction of DWAI as well.  The reduced penalties for DWAI are not necessarily an incentive to refuse the breathalyzer because of Colorado’s express consent law. Express Consent Law in Colorado You should be aware that Colorado has an express consent law. Therefore, any person who drives in Colorado agrees to take a chemical test if a police officer believes that the driver is under the influence.  Refusing to take the chemical test has consequences. First, Colorado law allows the prosecution to use the chemical test refusal as evidence of guilt at your trial. Essentially, the prosecution gets to argue to the jury that you refused the breath or other chemical test because you knew you had a BAC of 0.08 or above. That is compelling evidence. Secondly, the Colorado DMV will suspend your license for one year for refusing the breath test and may consider you to be a persistent drunk driver (PDD). You have the opportunity to reinstate your license if you take alcohol education classes and agree to use an ignition interlock device for up to two years. Colorado law imposes these sanctions against you even if the jury finds you not guilty after trial. These are administrative penalties and work in conjunction with any criminal penalties imposed. You have the right to appeal the DMV’s decision to suspend your license for refusing to take a breath test. You must file that appeal within seven days of your DUI arrest. Missing that deadline means you lose your right to appeal. Second Offense DUI in Colorado If police charge you with a DUI second offense, then you are facing potentially more severe repercussions. However, the length of time between your first and second offenses may determine whether the judge treats you as a first-time offender. If you have a second DUI in Colorado, the judge could treat you as a first-time offender if your prior conviction was at least 10 years prior. You should be aware that all convictions for DUI outside of Colorado count toward a second offense DUI. The first and second DUI penalties are similar. For a DUI second offense, which is a misdemeanor, you face up to: A minimum of 10 days in jail, with a maximum of one year; A fine between $600 and $1,500; License suspension for at least one year; At least 48 hours of community service, up to 120 hours; Two years of probation; Level II alcohol education; and Possible installation of an ignition interlocking device. The judge can also order you to enter into a treatment program for alcohol addiction for a second DUI in Colorado....

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