Every state has its own set of penalties for impaired driving convictions. Get the facts about laws in Colorado for DUI and DWAI offenses.

Drunk driving is a topic that frequently makes news headlines and with the holidays approaching, it will no doubt be referenced even more often. People in Boulder will want to be able to enjoy holiday festivities but should also protect themselves by learning about the state’s laws on impaired driving offenses. It is all too easy to be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after just a couple of drinks at a casual holiday get-together.

What are the penalties for DUI and DWAI convictions?

The specific penalty set for any impaired driving conviction can vary greatly based upon a few factors. These include the driver’s blood alcohol level at the time of arrest and whether or not any prior offenses are on record. The state site Colorado.gov outlines some of the criminal penalties as follows:

  • People convicted of a first DWAI may pay between $200 and $500 and spend between two and 180 days in county jail.
  • People convicted of a first DUI may pay between $600 and $1,000 and spend between five days and one year in county jail.
  • People convicted of a second or third DUI may pay between $600 and $1,500 and spend between 10 days and one year in county jail in addition to being on probation for two years.
  • People convicted of a third DUI or a second DUI within five years after receiving a first DUI will also be required to continue any employment or enrollment in school that they held prior to being arrested.

In each of the cases above, drivers may be required to perform a set amount of community service. Through a criminal defense, the penalties may be lowered or even waived in some cases.

Are driving privileges affected?

Any DUI conviction will result in the suspension of a driver’s license for a period up to two years. Drivers who refuse to participate in testing can also lose their licenses for a time even without a conviction according to the Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services. Points are added to drivers’ records for any conviction of a DUI or DWAI offense.

The Colorado Department of Revenue Department of Motor Vehicles stipulates the installation and use of an ignition interlock device for any conviction. The length of time that an IID must be used will vary from case to case. All costs associated with the installation and maintenance of the device must be paid for by the driver.

What should people do?

Certainly taking care to make prudent decisions as to when it is wise to drive and when it is wise not to drive is important. However, even with responsible decision making, a person may be affected by a drunk driving charge. If this happens, contacting a lawyer promptly is the recommended course of action.

Keywords: DUI, drunk driving, penalties, arrest