Harsh Penalties For DUI Or DWAI Convictions In Colorado

Every Colorado resident is probably familiar with driving under the influence (DUI) statutes. If a driver takes a Breathalyzer test and blows .08 or higher, that is considered driving under the influence. A series of penalties are triggered depending on the offender's previous record.

Among the sanctions for a first offense are a nine-month license suspension, the prospect of jail time, fines up to $1,000 and community service.

But there is a second, less-well-known impaired driving offense — driving while ability impaired (DWAI). The threshold is lower, a blood alcohol level of .05 to .08. The penalties are less severe, but again, not to be trifled with either.

For example, a driver convicted of a first DWAI offense won’t face a license suspension. But eight points are tacked on the driver's record and there is again the prospect of fines, jail time and community service.

All this assumes you have agreed to either a Breathalyzer or other blood alcohol test. If you haven’t, automatic license suspensions and revocations are in your future.

If you have consented to the test, there is a complex web of other offense thresholds and penalty possibilities, all depending on your record and your age. In short, either a DUI or a DWAI is far and above a run-of-the-mill traffic ticket.

It’s not a situation to trust to inexperienced people unfamiliar with the law. Charles Fife and Associates concentrates a substantial percentage of time to DUI and DWAI cases, having handled more than 2,500 to date. If you’re charged with one of these offenses, it’s worth having that kind of experienced and skilled Colorado criminal defense lawyer on your side.


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