What Are Colorado DUI Laws?

It’s a criminal offense in Colorado to operate a vehicle, including non-motorized ones like bikes, while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. You also shouldn’t drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. Being caught behind the wheel with a BAC of between 0.05% and 0.08% is a lesser offense known as Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

The penalties for a DUI depend on the number of convictions and become heftier with each subsequent conviction. If you’re facing DUI charges, don’t go to court without legal representation from skilled criminal defense lawyers in Colorado Springs. They can fight aggressively to protect you from harsh penalties, including possible jail time.

Will I Go to Jail for a DUI Conviction?

Each DUI conviction in Colorado has a statutory minimum and maximum jail time, depending on your BAC level and other factors. Relevant factors that could affect your jail time include:

  • Whether you were involved in an accident
  • How much time has elapsed since the last DUI offense
  • High BAC, usually over 0.20%
  • If there was property damage due to the DUI incident

Based on your case circumstances, jail time could be suspended in exchange for alternative sentencing, for example, house arrest. Colorado Springs DUI lawyers can provide legal guidance on these programs. If you have a good driving history and significant time between DUI convictions, they could fight to have the charges dropped or the penalties reduced.

Penalties for DUI in Colorado

The State of Colorado takes drunk driving offenses very seriously, imposing harsh penalties, especially if an accident is involved or your BAC is high.

First-Time DUI Offense

A first conviction for a DUI, DWAI, or DUI per se is considered a misdemeanor and has the following penalties:

  • At least five days in jail and up to one year. The term is mandatory for a BAC of 0.20% and higher
  • A maximum penalty of $1,000
  • Up to 96 hours of community service
  • 12 DMV points on your driving record

Skilled Colorado Springs DUI lawyers can help you have the five days in jail waived. They can help you request a drug and alcohol treatment program which you must complete instead of jail time. You also must meet other requirements ordered by the court for the jail time to be waived.

However, the court deems you a persistent drunk driver if you have a BAC of 0.15% or higher. Your sentence will be similar to that of a repeat offender, which includes a minimum of 10 days in jail.

Second-Time DUI Offense

Being convicted of a DUI for the second time is considered a misdemeanor and has the following penalties:

  • At least ten days in jail and a maximum of 1 year
  • Fines of up to $1,500
  • Community service for between 48 to 120 hours
  • Ignition interlock device installation for two years
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to one year
  • Level II Alcohol Education classes
  • 12 DMV points on your DMV driving record

If you had another conviction in the last five years, you must serve the 10-day sentence immediately. You may be eligible for an ignition interlock device license immediately if you are 21 and older. If not, you have to wait one year.

Third-Time DUI Offense

A third-time DUI offense in Colorado can lead to the following penalties:

  • 60 days to 1 year in jail
  • A fine of $600 to $1,500 and court fees
  • 90 days of continuous alcohol monitoring if given a probation sentence
  • 48-120 hours of community service
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to two years
  • Level II Alcohol Education classes
  • Ignition interlock device for two years after license reinstatement
  • 12 DMV points on your driving record

You may be eligible for an interlock device license immediately if you’re 21 and above, or wait for a year if not. These penalties can significantly impact your life and reputation. Jail time will curtail your freedom and rob you of some days of your life. Before that happens, consult experienced DUI attorneys in Colorado Springs for legal representation.

Fourth- Time DUI Offense

A DUI offense for the fourth time is classified as a Class 4 felony and has the following penalties:

  • 2-6 years in Colorado State Prison and parole for three years
  • A fine of between $2,000 and $500,000
  • Conditional probation with 90-180 days in jail or up to two years through alternative sentencing, alcohol and drug education class, and 48-120 hours of public service

DUI Causing Injury

If you got into an accident and caused injuries to other people while driving under the influence, you’d face charges for a Class 4 felony, and the penalties are:

  • 2-6 years in Colorado State Prison and parole for three years
  • $2,000 to $5,000 in fines

DUI Causing Death

If your DUI charge involves an accident that caused someone’s death, you will be charged with a Class 3 felony and may get the following penalties:

  • 4-12 years in prison and parole for five years
  • Fines of between $3,000 and $750,000

In addition to these penalties, a DUI conviction may also have the following consequences:

  • Loss of your job and ability to seek further employment
  • Loss of your right to vote and own a firearm
  • Be subjected to high insurance rates
  • You may not be able to reinstate your license

An Experienced DUI Attorney Helping You Fight Your DUI Charges

Colorado has strict DUI laws, and if arrested for the offense, you risk facing jail time and other hefty penalties. You need the help of skilled Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys to help you fight the charges. Depending on their defense strategy, you can have the charges dropped or the penalties reduced to avoid going to jail.

Our DUI lawyers are well-versed with DUI laws in Colorado Springs and can help you navigate the matter in court. We know the most effective strategies and won’t rest until we successfully defend you against the DUI charges. Call the Lux Law Firm at 719-451-7469 to tactically battle the DUI charge.