A first-time DUI may only be a misdemeanor but do not underestimate the consequences. Most people assume the judge will only order them to probation for a first DUI. While this might be true in some cases, the judge could make an example out of you and sentence you to time behind bars.
As a first-time DUI offender, you will lose your driver’s license. This will make completing everyday tasks such as going to work and picking the kids up from school almost impossible. It’s advised you contact legal representation if you or someone you know has been charged with DUI.
DUI Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
You shouldn’t settle for a court-appointed lawyer if you have been charged with DUI. Instead, contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. We will investigate every aspect of your case to find loopholes in the prosecutor’s argument. Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC proudly represents clients in areas such as El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.
- What is the Legal Limit in Colorado?
- Penalties for First-Time DUI
- What is Expressed Consent?
- How Long Does an DUI Stay On Your Record in CO?
- Additional Resources
What is the Legal Limit in Colorado?
According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Safety, driving under the influence is one of the most common criminal offenses in the state. In 2017 alone, nearly 22 thousand people were arrested for the crime. Under Colorado law, you can meet the legal definition of under the influence in various ways, such as:
- Having a BAC of .08% or higher
- Having five nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood
- Being intoxicated by alcohol, drugs or both to the point you cannot operate a vehicle safely
An officer can arrest you for driving under the influence without the results of a breathalyzer test. This is called driving while ability impaired (DWAI) and it involves an officer making a DUI arrest based on observation. A first-time DWAI is not penalized as heavily as DUI, but that doesn’t mean the charge shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Another DUI offense you can be charged with in Colorado is DUI per se. Per se is Latin for by itself, meaning you can be arrested for DUI based solely on the results of a breathalyzer test and without regard to other evidence.
Penalties for First-Time DUI
Your sentence will depend on whether you are convicted of DUI, DWAI or DUI per se. It’s also worth noting a DUI with drugs is charged and penalized the same as a DUI with alcohol. A first-time DUI or DUI per se is charged as a misdemeanor, which is punishable by the following:
- Five days to a year in jail
- A fine between $600 and $1,000
- A license suspension for nine months
- Installation of an ignition interlock device for eight months
- 48 to 96 hours of community service
As mentioned earlier, a DWAI is not charged as harsh as a DUI or DUI per se. Listed below are the penalties for DWAI in Colorado:
- Two to 180 days in jail
- A fine between $200 and $500
- 24 to 48 hours of community service
Even though this is your first offense, you will be labeled a persistent drunk driver (PDD) if you are found with a BAC of .15% or higher. As a PDD, you will have to endure additional penalties such as an alcohol education class, alcohol treatment and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
What is Expressed Consent?
Anyone who drives on the Colorado roadways agrees to submit to chemical testing by law enforcement. This is called expressed consent, and it’s codified in section 42-4-1301.1 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. You have a right to refuse chemical testing, but you should be aware of the consequences.
Refusing to submit to a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine will result in a license suspension of nine months for the first offense. You will also be required to complete mandatory alcohol or drug treatment program, endure increased insurance premiums and have an ignition interlock devise installed.
An officer may try to scare you with a license suspension, but you should know your license will be suspended anyway if you fail the chemical test. Without test results proving you were under the influence, prosecutors will lack the scientific evidence needed for conviction.
After an officer takes your license, you have seven days from the DUI arrest to request a hearing with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles. During this hearing, you can fight to have your license reinstated. Before your license is reinstated, though, you will have to abide by certain conditions. Some of these conditions include serving two months of the suspension and have an ignition interlock device for two years.
How Long Does a DUI Stay On Your Record in Colorado?
It’s important to establish that there is a difference between your driving record and criminal record. You can have evidence of a DUI on your criminal record, but if you’re not convicted it won’t appear on your driving record. Unfortunately, in the state of Colorado you cannot seal an DWI or DWAI from your criminal record. Eleven if your case was dismissed as a result of deferred judgement. So, if you’re ever arrested for DWI or DWAI the best course of action is to aggressively fight the charges by mounting a strong defense.
Thankfully, the same isn’t true for your driving record. In Colorado a DWI or DWAI can remain on your driving record for 10 years and you will have 12 points assessed against you after conviction. These points will only remain on your record for up to two years. This means your insurance premiums will be affected during the period those points are assessed. It also means any additional traffic violations, DUI-related or not, will then significantly influence your future premiums.
Ignition Interlock Restricted License – When your license is reinstated, you will be required to have an ignition interlock devise installed. By following the provided link, you can learn about the devices, how long it will be required and the consequences of non-compliance. The information can be found on the official website of the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.
Expressed Consent | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to read the section of the revised statutes to learn more about expressed consent. You can read the exact legal definition of the crime, find out if you can change your mind after refusal and if commercial drivers are required to submit to chemical testing.
First-Time DUI Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
Were you arrested for DUI? Is your court-appointed lawyer not helping? If so, you have come to the right place. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC has been defending clients of criminal offenses for nearly a decade. We will use this experience to your advantage and formulate a defense plan in your best interest.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with us. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC represents clients in areas such as Colorado Springs, Littleton, and Denver.