DUI with a Gun in the Car: What’s Next?

Posted By: Jacob Martinez

Category: DUI | Gun Crimes

DUI with a Gun in the Car: What's Next?

No one wants to get pulled over by the police when driving, but there are several things that can turn a routine traffic stop into a serious incident – including driving while intoxicated.

However, if the police observe you driving under the influence in Colorado, and you have a firearm in the car, then things can get a whole lot more complicated for you.

If you’re a firearm owner, then it’s vital to understand what the law says about keeping a firearm in your vehicle. There are possible consequences for having a firearm in your car if you’re pulled over for a DUI. Read on to find out what you need to know.

Gun Possession and DUIs in Colorado

It’s important to note that having a firearm in your car when traveling is absolutely legal in Colorado – if you are sober. You can legally possess a firearm as a driver or a passenger.

When you are intoxicated, however, the law changes a little bit. When you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is illegal to be in possession of a firearm.

What is a DUI?

In the state of Colorado, a person is guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) if you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. You don’t have to show signs of impairment to be charged with a DUI – you simply must have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

It’s also important to note that, even if you are below the legal limit, if you have a blood alcohol level between 0.05 and 0.08 percent and are showing signs of impairment, then you can be charged with driving while ability impaired in Colorado – commonly referred to as a DWAI.

If you are convicted of a DUI in Colorado, then you can face several penalties, including losing your driver’s license for a period of time, required completion of alcohol classes or treatment, and fines.

Disclosure of a Firearm When Pulled Over

If you are stopped by police for a traffic violation, then it’s not required of you by the law to tell them you have a firearm in the car – but it is advised. It’s usually in your best interest to immediately let the officer know you have a firearm in the vehicle, especially if you are asked to exit the vehicle.

You likely shouldn’t say that you simply have a gun, as this may be taken by the officer as a threat. What is advised is that you tell them calmly you have a firearm in the vehicle or on your person.

Denver DUI Attorney


Prohibited Use of a Weapon

Having a firearm on you or in your vehicle when stopped for a DUI can result in a charge of prohibited use of a weapon. It’s a serious charge in Colorado that can result in time in jail as well as other collateral consequences that are often included in weapons violations.

It makes no difference if your firearm was loaded or unloaded, nor does it matter where in the vehicle it was found. This offense can be charged simply if you are driving under the influence and have a firearm in your vehicle.

You have rights, and if you are accused of a DUI as well as possession of a firearm, it’s vitally important to know those rights.


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.