Comprehensive Guide to Colorado DUI, DWAI, and DUID

Posted By: Jacob Martinez

Category: DUI | DUID | DWAI

Comprehensive Guide to Colorado DUI, DWAI, and DUID

Colorado has made impaired driving a top priority in order to reduce the number of alcohol and drug related injuries and deaths on our roads. For that reason, it’s imperative to understand the different impaired driving offenses you could potentially be arrested for, as well as the specific penalties associated with each one.

DUI – Driving Under the Influence

Whether you feel impaired or not, you are legally not allowed to drive if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. If someone is under 21 years of age, the legal limit for them is 0.02.

You can be arrested and convicted of a DUI if you are deemed “substantially incapable” of operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications, as well as having a BAC of 0.08.

For a DUI offense, you will be facing numerous penalties that could include jail time, fines, public service, license suspension, an ignition interlock device, and other costs or fees.

  • Jail. For a first offense, someone convicted of a DUI could spend anywhere between 5 days and up to 1 year in jail. A second and third offense will also warrant up to 1 year in jail.
  • Fines. You may have to pay $600 and up to $1,000 in fines for a first DUI offense and up to $1,500 for a second or third offense.
  • Public service. You will have to do 48 to 96 hours of public service for a first offense and up to 120 hours for subsequent offenses.
  • License suspension. Your license will be suspended for 9 months for a first DUI, 1 year for a second DUI, and 2 years for a third DUI. You will also receive 12 points on your license for every DUI conviction.
  • Ignition interlock device. For a first offense, you aren’t required to have an ignition interlock device (IID), but you will need one for any subsequent offenses.
  • Other costs and fees. Not only do you have to pay criminal fines, but there are a variety of other DUI costs and fees you will be required to make, such as:
    • Detoxification: $455
    • Chemical test fee: $30-$150
    • Towing fee: $143
    • Alcohol Education Class: $150-$1,000
    • License Reinstatement: $95
    • Ignition Interlock Rental: $480-$1,460

DWAI – Driving While Ability Impaired

DWAI – Driving While Ability Impaired

For most states, the legal alcohol limit is 0.08. If your BAC is lower than that, you can’t be arrested for DUI. However, Colorado is one of the states that has an additional law on the books that says you can be arrested if your BAC is between 0.05 or 0.08 – DWAI.

You can be arrested and convicted of a DWAI if your ability is impaired to the “slightest degree” by alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications, as well as having a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08.

The penalties for a DWAI include:

  • Jail. For a first offense, someone convicted of a DWAI could spend anywhere between 2 days and up to 180 days in jail. A second and third offense will warrant up to 1 year in jail.
  • Fines. You may have to pay $200 and up to $500 in fines for a first DWAI offense and up to $1,500 for a second or third offense.
  • Public service. You will have to do 24 to 48 hours of public service for a first offense and up to 120 hours for subsequent offenses.
  • License suspension. Your license will not be suspended for your first DWAI. Your license will be suspended for 1 year for a second DWAI, and 2 years for a third DWAI. You will also receive 8 points on your license for every DWAI conviction.
  • Ignition interlock device. For a first offense, you aren’t required to have an ignition interlock device (IID), but you will need one for any subsequent offenses.
  • Other costs and fees. You will face similar costs and fees with a DWAI conviction that you would with a DUI conviction.

DUID – Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

DUID – Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

While a DUI can be given for alcohol or drugs, it most often refers to alcohol. If drugs other than alcohol are involved, Colorado sees it as a DUID charge.

Along with operating a car under the influence of alcohol, a driver can be pulled over for operating a car under the influence of one or more drugs, or as a habitual user of any controlled substance.

The law also states that in instances where THC is identified in a driver’s blood in quantities of 5ng/ml or higher, “such fact gives rise to permissible inference that the defendant was under the influence.”

If you find yourself being charged with a DUI, DWAI, or DUID, reach out to an experienced Colorado DUI attorney with a strong track record in these types of cases to help you reduce, drop, or dismiss the charges and potential penalties you could face.

If you need more help, consider checking out these helpful resources:

No DUI Colorado

Colorado DMV

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Denver Country Court

Drugged Driving Information from the Department of Transportation

 

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. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.