A conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in the state of Colorado carries severe penalties. Not only the penalty of fines, jail time, or a criminal record, but DUI accidents can cause the loss of life as well. As a result, Colorado has made it a priority to impose strict penalties on those drivers who operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. However, if a driver has a minor child in the car at the time that they drive intoxicated, the penalties become even more substantial. If you have been charged with a DUI with a minor in the car, make sure to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible in order to better understand all of your legal rights and options.
The penalties for a DUI in the state of Colorado are serious even for a first offense. A first offense DUI conviction results in fines of $300-$1,000 dollars, jail time of up to one year, and the suspension of a driver’s license. A second offense DUI conviction results in fines of up to $1,500, jail time of 90 days to one year, and a driver’s license suspension of one year. Subsequent convictions of DUIs carry even more serious and severe penalties.
Under Colorado 18-6-401, C.R.S., a DUI (or DWAI) with a minor child in the car is considered to be child abuse. This law will apply to any child under the age of 16 who is in the car. If the child does not suffer any injury as a result of the driver operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, it will lead to a misdemeanor abuse charge of the driver. If the minor child suffers an injury or dies as a result of the driver operating the motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it will become a felony child abuse charge.
Along with the DUI or DWAI charge, if a driver operates a motor vehicle in Colorado with a minor in the car, they may receive up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine as well as a misdemeanor charge for child abuse.
If the minor child experiences an injury or dies as a result of the car accident resulting from an intoxicated driver, the driver will receive a felony charge of child abuse which may result in up to six years in a Colorado prison, and a fine up to $500,000 dollars. Any additional reckless charges can raise the penalty to 12 years in prison and up to a $750,000 fine.
If you receive a DUI charge that included having a minor in the car at the time, you are facing serious penalties including many years of jail time and astronomical fines. Contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Moorhead Law Group at 303-447-1400 or online today to discuss your legal options and your next steps.