December 9, 2023
In the United States, the laws governing the crime of driving under the influence – also called a DUI – are typically very harsh. Colorado is no exception to this, as even first-time DUI offenders can face time in jail, fines, and the loss of their driver’s license.
As serious as a DUI is, not many understand the true implications of the crime and the impact it can have on your life. There are many reasons to avoid a DUI in your lifetime, but these consequences are some of the most significant in our state.
You’ll Be Arrested
If the police have probable cause to charge you with a DUI, then you will be arrested, and you will spend the night in a jail cell. In many cases, those arrested for DUIs are not released until the day. Even in cases where the charges are ultimately beaten, you cannot get that night of your life back.
If you’re convicted of the crime, you may face additional jail time depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, though most of the time, first-time offenders don’t have to go to jail.
You Cannot Drive
Think about how much you use your car to get where you’re going. If you get a DUI, even for the first time, your ability to drive a car can be stripped from you.
Under the state’s express consent laws, getting behind the wheel of a car on a public road means you’ve given your pre-consent to be tested for alcohol if there’s a reasonable suspicion you may be operating a vehicle under the influence.
If you refuse to take a chemical test, your driver’s license will be taken away immediately, and you will lose it for up to one year for a first refusal. If you’ve refused before, it can be taken away for up to three years.
Additionally, if you’re convicted of a DUI, your license will be revoked for up to 12 months the first time you’re found guilty, taking away your ability to drive.
The Creation of a Criminal Record
A DUI on your criminal record can have consequences that follow you for years to come. For those who don’t have a criminal record as an adult, a DUI will create one that can be visible on background checks.
Every time you apply for a job, you may have to disclose this, or it can be seen when a background check is performed. For those with a professional license, it can also place that in jeopardy.
DUIs Cost a Lot
When you get a DUI, your car will be towed and impounded, which comes with fees. You may also miss work and pay a defense attorney to represent you in court.
All of that is expensive, but it doesn’t stop there. You also have to pay fees to have your driver’s license reinstated and bail money if you want to get out of detainment while your case moves through the courts.
It Affects Your Reputation
It would be nice if people gave second chances, but that doesn’t always happen. People who have never been arrested will judge you if you have, especially when it involves the lapse of judgment that a DUI does.
It’s not uncommon for people to assume things about you if you have a DUI on your record. Avoiding a DUI conviction can help you avoid that judgment.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Countless legal organizations have recognized Mr. Martinez for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.