December 9, 2023
The Broncos may not have played in the most recent Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean that people weren’t out celebrating.
As a result, in Colorado over Super Bowl weekend, 175 drivers were arrested for DUIs. That number is down from 229 the previous year but doesn’t make the reality less serious for those who were arrested and charged with suspicion of drunk driving.
Colorado takes DUIs very seriously and the penalties they have for DUI convictions reflect that. Fortunately, they also understand that people make mistakes and that’s why they offer diversion programs for DUIs. Learn more here about what happens after a Colorado DUI conviction.
What Is a DUI in Colorado?
In Colorado, driving under the influence (DUI) means that you are operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.
If your blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher, then the law says your ability to safely operate a vehicle has been impaired.
General Penalties for a Colorado DUI
If you are arrested for a DUI and found guilty, then there are a variety of penalties you can face, both criminal and administrative. It also depends on if you have previously been convicted of a DUI, as each subsequent DUI offense will mean you face harsher penalties.
DUI First Offense
For your first DUI conviction, you can spend up to one year in jail and be made to pay fines of as much as $1,000. You also face having your license to operate a vehicle suspended for up to nine months and, after you get your license back, be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car for up to eight months. You may also be required to complete up to 96 hours of community service.
DUI Second Offense
For a second DUI offense, you can also face up to one year in jail. However, the fines are bumped up to $1,500 and you can lose your license for up to 12 months. You may also need to have an ignition interlock system installed on your vehicle and complete up to 120 hours of community service.
DUI Third Offense and Beyond
A third DUI, or subsequent offenses after that, can also put you in jail for up to one year and require payment of fines for as much as $1,500 as well as 120 hours of community service, but you can lose your license indefinitely and you only have the ability to ask for its reinstatement after two years have passed. If you get your license back, then you may have to have an ignition interlock system for up to five years.
Colorado’s DUI Diversion Programs
In Colorado, a DUI Diversion program exists to help offenders stay out of jail. If you enter a diversion program, then you create a legally binding agreement with the district attorney that, if broken, can result in penalties.
If you enter the diversion program, then you may have to agree to get counseling, treatment, payment of restitution, community service, and a variety of other things in order to successfully complete the program.
Whether or not you’re eligible depends on the circumstances of your DUI and a judge will determine if it’s in the best interest of the community.
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.