Colorado does not take kindly to repeat offenders. The more you are convicted of driving under the influence, the harsher the penalties. Not only this, but you will be looking at felony charges for any fourth or subsequent offense. Colorado does not recognize lookback periods. This means you could be convicted of a third or subsequent DUI for a prior offense that took place decades ago.
As a repeat DUI offender, the court will require you to serve a mandatory minimum sentence, lose your license and be labeled a persistent drunk driver. Contact legal representation to mitigate the chances of this happening to you.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
By viewing this page, you are already considering hiring a quality attorney to fight your DUI charges. Take the next step and schedule a case evaluation with an attorney at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. (719) 328-1616. We will be with you through every step of the legal process and always keep your best interest in mind.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC takes pride in representing clients in counties such as El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.
- Colorado’s DUI Law
- When is DUI a Felony?
- What is the Look Back Period for DUI in Colorado?
- Additional Resources
Colorado’s DUI Laws
A national survey on drug use and health revealed 28.7 million admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs- that’s almost five times more than the population of Colorado. It’s against the law in the Centennial State to drive under the influence. Doing so will result in harsh penalties and a tarnished criminal record.
There are three ways you can meet the legal definition of intoxicated in Colorado. These ways include:
- Having a BAC of .08 percent or higher
- Having five nanograms of marijuana per milliliter of blood
- Drugs or alcohol impair your ability to drive safely
You can still be arrested for driving under the influence if you are found with less than the legal limit of alcohol or marijuana in your system. Having a BAC of .05 percent or more but less than .08 percent will result in charges for driving while ability impaired (DWAI). DWAI means being only slightly impaired, but still intoxicated to the point where you cannot safely operate a vehicle
Another DUI offense in Colorado is DUI per se. This offense involves being arrested for intoxicated driving based solely on having a BAC of .08 percent or higher. Per se is Latin for by itself. This means other evidence for a DUI per se will not be taken into account, just the results of a portable breathalyzer test. You cannot be charged with DUI per se if the offense involved marijuana or drugs.
When is DUI a Felony?
The more you are charged for driving under the influence, the less forgiving the courts will be. A third DUI conviction is still a misdemeanor, but the penalties are harsher than those of a first or second DUI. On top of the more stringent penalties, you will be required to spend a mandatory minimum sentence behind bars.
While a third DUI is not a felony, it still puts you one step closer to a fourth conviction, which will result in felony charges. As mentioned earlier, a third DUI is a misdemeanor, which is punishable by the following:
- Mandatory minimum of 60 days but up to a year in jail
- License suspension for a year
- A fine between $600 and $1,500
- Between 48 and 120 hours of community service
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
Colorado puts their foot down when you are arrested for a fourth or subsequent DUI offense. Now, instead of a misdemeanor, you will be charged with a felony. It should be noted state law requires all DUI felony offender to spend time behind bars, even if you are granted probation. If the court does grant you probation, you will still be required to serve 90 to 180 days in jail.
A fourth or subsequent DUI is a class 4 felony punishable by the following:
- Between two to six years of imprisonment
- Three years of mandatory parole
- A fine between $2,000 and $500,000
- License suspension for two years
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
Both a third and subsequent DUI will result in the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles labeling you as a persistent drunk driver (PDD). As a PDD, you will be required to complete an alcohol or drug treatment program and retain SR22 insurance for a minimum of two years.
What is the Look Back Period for DUI in Colorado?
Some states in the U.S. employ a look back period for DUIs. This means after so many years have passed a DUI conviction will not be used against you if you are charged with a subsequent offense. Colorado does not do this.
Colorado does not have a statute in place listing lookback periods. This allows the court to consider any prior DUI convictions, even if it was out of state or decades ago. This fact alone makes it crucial you contact a defense attorney. A DUI from your 20s can come back to haunt you in your 40s or 50s.
Although there is no official lookback period, two or more DUI charges within five years of each other will result in harsher penalties. This five-year window is important to DUI cases with prior convictions since it can result in additional time behind bars and more expensive fines.
Additional Resources for Third or Subsequent DUI
Driving Under the Influence | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to read the statute governing driving under the influence. You can learn more about DWAI and DUI per se. You can also gain access to how juveniles are charged and the state’s expressed consent laws.
Why a DUI got more Expensive – Visit the official website of the Colorado Department of Transportation to learn why DUIs are now more expensive. You can learn about the associated cost and what’s causing the increase. The graphic is based on a first DUI, so you can only imagine the increased cost for a third or subsequent offense.
DUI Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
Is this the third time you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence? Is your court-appointed lawyer not helping? Then you have come to the right place. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC has been defending the rights of Coloradans 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 case evaluation with an attorney at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. We represent clients in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.