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Colorado DUI Penalties

The criminal penalties for DUI, DWAI and other related offenses should not be taken lightly. Depending on your criminal history, the court may require you to spend time in jail, install an ignition interlock device on your car and have you pay exuberant fines.

For your convenience, Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC has provided a list of penalties for DUI in Colorado. This information is not legal advice. Consulting with a DUI attorney is your best course of action if you have been charged with the offense. They can evaluate the evidence surrounding your case and advocate on your behalf for a better outcome.

DUI Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs

Your priority should be retaining legal counsel. Attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC have proven experience in Colorado DUI law. We will file motions, suppress evidence and do whatever necessary to have the charges against you reduced or dropped. Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.

Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to meet with us. We are based in Colorado Springs but regularly help clients in areas such as Denver and Littleton.


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First-Time DUI Penalties

Many people assume they will not be sentenced to time in jail for a first DUI. While this may be the case for some offenders, the judge may make an example out of you and sentence you to time behind bars. The extent of the penalties for driving under the influence depends on whether you are convicted of DUI, DWAI or DUI per se.

Under Colorado law, a first-time DUI and DUI per se are punishable by the following:

  • Five days to a year in jail
  • 48 to 96 hours of community service
  • Up to two years of probation
  • A fine between $600 and $1,000

A judge may be forgiving and suspend jail time in exchange for an alcohol evaluation program. This program lasts a year and is designed to ensure you refrain from drinking for that time.

Penalties for a first DUI offense will be elevated if you are found with a BAC of .20 or higher. You could still be sentenced to the same amount of community service, fines and probation time, but you will be required to spend a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail.

DWAI is a lesser offense compared to DUI and DUI per se, so the penalties are not as harsh. That being said, the charge should still be taken seriously, especially since there is still a chance you could spend time behind bars.

Listed below are the penalties for a first DWAI in Colorado:

  • Two to 10 days in jail
  • 24 to 48 hours of community service
  • Two years of probation
  • A fine between $200 and $500

As with a standard DUI, a judge may waive time behind bars and replace it with an alcohol evaluation course for one year.


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How Long Will I Go to Jail for a Second DUI in Colorado?

DUI, DUI per se and DWAI are all charged the same the second time around. If this is your second time being charged, you are probably aware of the penalties you may be facing. However, this time, you will be required to spend time in jail.

Penalties for a second DUI can include:

  • Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail but up to a year behind bars
  • A fine between $600 and $1,500
  • One-year license suspension
  • An ignition interlock device for two to five years
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service

A second or subsequent DUI conviction will also entail the label of persistent drunk driver (PDD). With this label, you will be required to complete a level II alcohol education and treatment program and obtain SR-22 insurance for a minimum of two years.


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Penalties for a Third DUI

A third DUI is not quite a felony, but conviction puts you one step closer. The offense may still be a misdemeanor, but the penalties for a third DUI are harsher than those for the first two offenses. Listed below are the possible penalties for a third DUI:

  • Mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail but up to a year behind bars
  • A fine between $600 and $1,500
  • One-year license suspension
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

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When is DUI a Felony in Colorado?

The Colorado courts stop being forgiving when you are convicted of a fourth DUI. Instead of a misdemeanor like the previous convictions, you will be charged with a felony. As a DUI felon, you will be required to spend time behind bars, even if the court grants you probation in exchange for jail time. When this is the case, you will still be required to spend between 90 and 180 days behind bars.

Some of the penalties you may face for a fourth DUI include:

  • Between two to six years of mandatory imprisonment
  • Three years of mandatory parole
  • A fine between $2,000 and $500,000
  • Two-year license suspension
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

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Mandatory DUI Surcharges

A DUI is expensive. In addition to criminal fines, attorney fees and court costs, you will be required to pay various surcharges upon conviction, which quickly add up. According to the Colorado Statutes, some of the surcharges you may have to pay include:

  • $78 surcharge
  • $20 surcharge to the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury Trust
  • $1 to $10 surcharge for programs addressing alcohol and substance abuse problems in rural areas
  • $100 to $500 surcharge for programs working to reduce persistent drunk driving
  • $300 PDD surcharge

Not only will you have to pay surcharges, but you will have to pay fees for towing, storing your car, having an ignition interlock device installed and to attend alcohol or drug treatment, just to name a few. With all these additional costs, the Colorado DMV found a first-time DUI can end up costing you around $13,500.


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Additional Resources

Why a DUI Is More Expensive – Your pockets will feel the effects of a DUI. By following the link, you can view an infographic from the Colorado DMV over why DUIs are so expensive. You can see how much a first-time conviction used to cost, how the cost has increased and view a list of associated costs.

Driving Under the Influence | Colorado Revised Statutes – Read through the section of the revised statutes governing intoxicated driving offenses. You can read the precise legal definition of DUI, DUI per se and DWAI. You can also learn about other DUI crimes like vehicular assault.


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DUI Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious after being charged with a crime. Gain some piece of mind and contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. We understand how stressful this time might be. But you can rest assured your case will be in good hands at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our attorneys are well respected in the legal community and will stop at nothing to ensure the results are in your favor.

Take advantage of our free consultations. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with us. We represent clients in El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.


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