Colorado has two separate crimes that cover driving while impaired. A DUI is a charge for “driving under the influence” of alcohol or drugs. This is typically reserved for those with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. Colorado also has a DWAI charge for “driving while ability impaired” if offenders have a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08.
When the police stop you, remain calm and listen to their instructions. They may ask you to do a field sobriety test, but these are voluntary in Colorado. Common field sobriety tests include balancing on one leg, maintaining your gaze on a moving object, and walking along a straight line.
You may also be asked to submit to a breath test, blood test, or urine test. It is not advisable to refuse chemical testing since refusal is admissible in court and a basis to revoke your driver’s license. After your arrest, you will be processed at the station.
Your first DUI offense could result in the following:
If your BAC was 0.20 or higher, jail time is required. A DWAI conviction results in the following:
You may need to post bail to get out of jail after your arrest. You or someone else may:
The amount you pay and whether you are released on personal recognizance depend mainly on your criminal history and how likely you are to return for your court date.
Your license is not automatically suspended if you get a DWAI conviction. For a DUI, your license will be suspended for nine months.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney should be your top priority if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence. Remember, the conviction rate for DUI cases in Colorado is nearly 90%. Without representation, you run the risk of getting the maximum sentence.
That will cost you time in jail and a substantial amount in fees and fines, but it will also affect other areas of your life since your conviction remains on your record for years.
An attorney with experience in DUI cases can explore different defense options and fight for a positive outcome. Look for an experienced DUI attorney with a successful track record of decreased or dismissed charges.
Defenses your attorney may explore include:
After a conviction, you’ll lose your license temporarily. However, you could get a restricted license that permits you to drive certain places. Your vehicle must be equipped with an ignition interlock device if you do.
In Colorado, first-time DWAI and DUI convictions are misdemeanors. While this may impact your job search and hinder your pursuit of a place to live, it is not as severe as a felony conviction. Furthermore, Colorado law prohibits private employers from including questions about your criminal history on job applications.
You cannot have your conviction expunged if you were found guilty or pled guilty to DUI charges. However, your charges can be expunged if you were arrested but not charged, had your case dismissed, or were acquitted.
You shouldn’t take on your first DUI offense in Denver alone. You not only face possible criminal charges, but you also need an attorney who knows the state’s DUI laws and can help you get your license back.
With Attorney Michael Fayard fighting for you, you can feel confident that your case is in good hands. To discuss your DUI/DWAI arrest and plan your next steps, call 303-990-8585 or get in touch online.