February 21, 2024
Memorial Day is about remembering those who lost their lives while serving our country, but it’s also a time where we start celebrating the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. We get together with family and friends to relax, grill, and enjoy a couple of drinks over the long three-day weekend before we have to head back to work on Tuesday.
When we celebrate Memorial Day with a few drinks, though, it’s important to remember not to get in a car and drive, because you could be arrested for DUI. If this happened to you over the holiday weekend, you’re not alone.
Over celebratory holidays, authorities crack down on DUI enforcement with additional checkpoints and increased patrolling in order to avoid deadly crashes. In 2016, 372 impaired drivers were caught throughout the state during the Memorial Day weekend.
Last year, however, someone was still killed during a drunk driving accident. So this year, the Colorado Department of Transportation decided to ramp up the watch for impaired drivers even further.
Colorado DUI Laws and Penalties
Colorado has two impaired driving offenses. DWAI – driving while ability impaired – is a slightly lesser offense and your blood alcohol content (BAC) only has to be 0.05. DUI, on the other hand, is the more serious offense, with a BAC limit of 0.08.
If you are charged with DWAI you could face a number of penalties, including:
- 8 points towards having your license suspended
- Fines between $200 and $500
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Up to 48 hours of community service
If you are charged with DUI, your penalties can include:
- License suspension for up to 9 months
- Fines between $600 and $1000
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to 96 hours of community service
- Mandatory alcohol education program
Remember, these are just the criminal penalties. You also need to think about increased insurance premiums, fees for reinstating your license and probation, and a number of other costs that can raise the price of a DUI to over $10,000.
How to Handle DUI Charges
If you were charged with a DUI, like golf hero Tiger Woods was recently in Florida, the details of your case can help defend your charges and protect your rights.
A knowledgeable DUI attorney will look at both your driving and criminal history. If you’re a first-time offender with a clean record, you might be able to get the charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed. If you’ve had prior convictions though, especially related to drugs and alcohol, the penalties will be more severe.
Your attorney will also look at the details of your arrest. Were you lawfully stopped? Did you admit to consuming alcohol or drugs? Did you take a roadside sobriety test? Did you take a Breathalyzer or submit to a blood test? What were the results of those tests? Are they reliable? What about the arresting officer’s training and skills?
The answers to these questions, as well as any other relevant information, will help your lawyer defend your case so you can get the best possible outcome. Remember, though, regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to take your charges seriously and act in a timely manner. If you wait to deal with your DUI, you could lose your driving privileges, so reach out to an experienced Colorado defense attorney today to fight back.
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.