December 9, 2023
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Colorado, and it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This legal limit applies to both alcohol and drugs, including marijuana. The legal consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe, including fines, jail time, license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education or treatment.
You have certain legal rights if you get pulled over for suspicion of DUI. These include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. You also have the right to refuse a field sobriety test or a preliminary breath test (PBT). Still, if you refuse a chemical test (such as a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test), your driver’s license will automatically be suspended.
Fighting a DUI Charge in Colorado: Your Legal Options
You will face criminal and administrative penalties if arrested for impaired driving in Colorado. The criminal charges can result in fines, jail time, community service, and probation. The administrative penalties can include license suspension, mandatory alcohol education or treatment, and installing an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.
One important thing to note is that Colorado has an “express consent” law, which means that if you are driving on a public road in the state, you have already consented to a chemical test if you get suspected of driving under the influence. Refusing a chemical test can result in an automatic license suspension, even if you are not ultimately convicted of DUI.
It is essential to understand that DUI cases can be complex, and it is often advisable to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can work to build a strong defense on your behalf. They can also help you navigate the administrative processes involved in a DUI case, such as requesting a hearing to contest your license suspension.
In addition to legal consequences, a DUI conviction can impact your life. For example, it can affect your ability to obtain employment or housing and result in higher insurance rates. If you are facing DUI charges, taking the situation seriously and taking steps to protect your rights and future is important.
Minimizing the Long-Term Effects of a DUI Conviction in Colorado
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of a DUI charge. For example, you can plan by arranging for a designated driver or using public transportation. If you plan to drink, you must pace yourself and avoid excessive drinking. You can also use a personal breathalyzer device to monitor your BAC level throughout the night.
If you get pulled over for suspicion of DUI, it is important to remain calm and respectful. You should provide your identification and insurance information when asked, but you are not required to answer any other questions with an attorney present. Be aware that police officers get trained to look for signs of impairment, such as slurred speech or bloodshot eyes, but other factors, such as fatigue or allergies, can also cause these symptoms.
Got a DUI in Colorado? Knowing your rights and seeking an experienced attorney’s advice is important. DUI cases can have serious, criminal, and administrative consequences, and it is important to have a solid defense to protect your rights and future. By understanding your legal rights, avoiding a DUI charge, and working with a qualified attorney, you can mitigate the impact of a DUI charge and move forward with your life.
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 recognized by countless legal organizations 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.