Colorado DUI Laws Since 2008 Rehabilitation Oriented
Over the past several years, Colorado has changed its drunk driving laws for DUI (driving under the influence) and DWAI (driving while ability impaired) in an effort towards cutting down on drunk driving that has spread across the country.
The drunk driving bills passed in 2008 in particular have made certain punishments automatic.
- Revocation of licenses. When a driver is stopped and either refuses to submit to a blood, breath or urine test, or is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs from such a test, his or her license is revoked for a year or longer (on second or third offenses).
- Option to extend the length of suspension. When a judge determines that circumstances call for it, the revocation can be longer than a year.
- Extended probation. Particularly with repeat offenders, a two-year probationary period is imposed (in addition to other penalties) along with required alcohol education and treatment programs.
The laws were adjusted to accomplish two primary goals: To impose greater penalties on repeat offenders, but also to place an emphasis on rehabilitation over punishment. Similarly, individuals caught with small quantities of controlled substances — cocaine, crystal meth, heroin and illicit prescription drugs — are given lesser prison sentences if they are not found to be involved in trafficking or distribution.
Charges of driving under the influence or possession of illegal substances is a serious matter that can affect one’s future ability to attend school, get a job, get a loan or rent an apartment. It is essential to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyerto minimize or eliminate the repercussions of any such charges.