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Colorado DUI Laws

It’s our civic duty to be aware of the laws governing our day to day lives. Colorado laws are not always clear, so Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. created this guide to help you better understand the state’s DUI laws. This is not legal advice, so it’s imperative you contact legal representation if you have been arrested or charged with DUI.

DUI is perhaps one of the most common crimes in Colorado. In fact, nearly 22,000 drivers were arrested for the offense in 2018. Depending on your criminal history, you may be required to spend time in jail, have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle and pay exuberant fines.

DUI Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs

People make mistakes and Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. understands that. As our client, you will be treated with dignity and respect. We will not focus on guilt or innocence. Instead, we will focus on what we can do for you. The sooner you contact the DUI defense attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C., the sooner we can get to work on your case.

Getting started is easy. Just call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with us. We defend clients in areas such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.


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What is the Legal Limit in Colorado?

According to data from No DUI Colorado, El Paso County leads the state for the number of DUI charges with 2,461. As the law stands, you can be charged for driving under the influence in a number of situations, such as.

  • Having a BAC of .08% or higher
  • Have 5 nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood
  • Being intoxicated to the point you can no longer operate a vehicle safely.

An officer will conduct various field sobriety tests before conducting a chemical test. These tests are designed for you to fail, so it’s advised you politely refuse. You can refuse field sobriety test without consequence, but chemical tests are another story.


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DUI vs. DWAI vs. DUI per se

Colorado law provides three different charges for driving under the influence. How you are charged will either depend on the officer’s observation or your level of intoxication. Listed below is a brief explanation of each form of driving under the influence:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI): Operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher will result in charges for driving under the influence. You will also be charged with DUI if an officer believes you are too intoxicated to drive safely, even if your BAC is below .08%.
  • Driving while ability impaired (DWAI): DWAI involves being intoxicated in the slightest degree. This can include having a BAC between .05% and .079% or being intoxicated to the point you cannot operate a vehicle.
  • DUI per se: A charge for DUI per se is handed down when an officer found you driving under the influence, and they have the numbers to prove it. Per se is Latin for by itself. This means you can be charged with the crime based only on the result of a chemical test.

DUI, DWAI and DUI per se are all serious charges. You will lose your license, be required to pay expensive fines and possibly spend time in jail. If this is your second or subsequent offense, then you can expect the penalties to be much harsher. Contact a DUI defense attorney today if you have been arrested or charged with the offense.


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Can You Refuse a Chemical Test in Colorado?

A DUI stop is a nerve-racking situation. Many people forget their rights and agree to what the officer is asking in hopes they will be forgiving. While an officer may act like your friend, they are only doing so to make you feel comfortable enough to reveal incriminating information.

You will be asked to submit to a chemical test when suspected of driving under the influence. It’s crucial you refuse this test. Prosecutors will have a hard time convincing a jury you were under the influence without the results of a chemical test. An officer will make you feel like you have to submit a sample and may even threaten you with a license suspension. However, your license will be suspended whether you choose to submit or not.

Your license will be suspended for a year the first time you refuse. But not to worry, you can argue the suspension at an administrative hearing at the DMV. You need to act fast if you plan to contest the suspension. The DMV only allows you seven days to request a hearing. You will lose your right to a hearing if you fail to submit a request within this time.


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Additional Resources

Driving Under the Influence | Colorado Revised Statutes – You can read the legal definition of DUI, DWAI and DUI per se by following the link. You can also find out how the offense is charged and find a list of surcharges you may be required to pay. The statute can be read on FindLaw.com, an online legal resource.

Expressed Consent | Colorado Revised Statutes – You give your expressed consent to DUI chemical testing by driving on the Colorado roads. Follow the link to read the state laws governing the matter. You can find out what an officer must inform you of if you refuse, how long after a DUI stop the test needs to be given and a list of circumstances that may delay the two-hour time limit.


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DUI Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs

Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your DUI arrest and formulate a defense plan in your best interest.  Our attorneys are well respected in the legal community and will always strive to provide you with quality legal assistance.

Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with us. We are based in Colorado Springs, but assist clients in Denver County and Arapahoe County.


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Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.