Guide To The State of Colorado DUI Laws

The offense of Driving under the Influence (DUI) in Colorado is committed if your blood alcohol level is 0.080 or greater. However, you may still face charges even if your test result reading is below 0.080. If you decline to undergo a DUI test and exhibit signs of intoxication, you are prone to be charged with a DUI. If you are incompetent of driving a vehicle because of intoxication, you are also disposed to a DUI charge.

If you are pulled over and given a field sobriety test or if law enforcement thinks that there was any other contributing factor besides drinking before operating a vehicle, you will be arrested as a suspect who has been under the influence but doesn't show signs like slurred speech.

DUI charges carry serious penalties such as license suspension, fines up to five thousand dollars, and time in prison.

What Measures Are Put in Place To Curb Driving Under the Influence?

As society continues to evolve, alcohol consumption laws will need revisions or additions. Colorado has seen a steady increase in incidents of accidents arising from DUI. Driving intoxicated can attract occurrences such as texting while driving or not wearing a seatbelt. Measures put in place to curb DUI are meant to change victims’ behaviors and bring to justice road violators who happen to disrupt daily commutes.

The State of Colorado has updated its regulations on vehicle usage on the road. The new legislature includes an overhauled shift in authority from local governments, encouraging cooperation between different agencies as they come together to oversee road safety. Colorado has heavily invested in the legislature in protecting its citizens against DUI and making the roads safer.

Ignition Interlocks

Ignition interlocks have been proven effective at preventing drunk driving accidents, not only because it prevents motorists from driving if they're over the limit but also because it forces victims to have the time needed to come back sober. This prevents the risk of injury due to impaired judgment while behind the wheel.

The interlock gadget is a small, plastic mouthpiece that the driver must insert into their mouth to breathe air into it before the car can start the ignition to power on the engine.

It is one of the most overlooked yet important devices for safety on the roads. An ignition interlock device is useful in ensuring that a driver is sober before starting driving. It requires motorists to take a breathalyzer test before being allowed to turn on their car. This prevents an intoxicated person from being able to operate in any capacity. This gadget is a game-changer for people convicted of driving under the influence.

The interlock device is a requirement after a driving-under-influence conviction. It attaches to the car's ignition and will not allow you to start the vehicle, unless you blow into an alcohol sensor, and makes sure people who are convicted of driving under the influence do not repeat the same crime of driving while intoxicated.

You can’t go behind the wheel without first blowing through an alcohol detector. This ensures repeat offenders' lives are not endangered as they are likely to repeat the offense.

Once an individual has been convicted of driving under the influence, the court will require that the vehicle be equipped with an ignition interlock device. The gadget must be integrated into the car for at least one year, or you risk violating your probation and getting fined $500 to $1000.

How Severe Is the Punishment for Driving Under the Influence?

In Colorado, the sentencing for driving under the influence can be different from other states and depends on how many times you have been convicted before. A first-time driving-under-the-influence conviction typically attracts a sentencing of up to six months in jail and a minimum fine. It is possible to get a year in jail if you are convicted.

The penalty for repeat offenders who showed a sense of responsibility by not getting behind the wheel after drinking includes fines or jail time of up to six months.  An individual is prone to restitution charges if his or her drunken driving caused property damage or injury. You can seek the services of an experienced criminal lawyer to manage your hearing so you may be given a lesser charge or conviction.

If you’ve been involved in a DUI incident before, you can get a jail term of up to two years. If you were involved previously in DUI but not over five years ago, your verdict may attract a jail term. This may be for one month per previous offense or up to six months in prison with an additional fine of $500 up to $2000, plus public service.

In summary, you may get convicted with an average judgment ranging from serving no time at all or spending six months incarcerated based solely on how many previous convictions you had before your current one occurred.

What Are the Penalties for DUI in Colorado?

Colorado has laws in place and its own set of rules and regulations to deal with compromised driving. Laws concerning driving under the influence in Colorado can attract revocation of your driver’s license and even imprisonment for a serious DUI offense.

One of the more common penalties imposed for driving under the influence is revocation of a driver’s license. DUI is a serious offense in the State of Colorado as it involves you driving while intoxicated, and this means you are incapacitated to safely handle the activity of driving.

It is even a more serious offense if you are found to be under the age of 21 years and driving while intoxicated. Beware, you need to keep your distance from an individual involved in DUI, since by being near, you can also be associated with DUI by the arresting officer.

The penalty varies depending on how many times a person has been previously convicted of the offense and whether that person has other crimes on the record besides the DUI offense.

In Colorado, a first-time offender attracts a penalty of up to eighteen months in prison, but the sentencing is likely to be increased to five years in prison if there are prior convictions.

What Are the Laws on Driving While Ability Impaired In Colorado?

Colorado has a unique law that prohibits people from driving if they have been drinking alcohol and are above the legal limit of the level of consumption. The State of Colorado laws prohibit driving while ability impaired. However, it can be a challenge for individuals who are not aware of their legal limit level of consumption of alcohol before driving, to know that they are over the limit.

The Colorado Legislature enacted the Criminal Impaired Driving Act in 2007. The act makes it illegal for a person to operate, drive, or be in actual physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. If an individual has been convicted of DUI a second time within 10 years, he or she is likely to face a penalty of imprisonment. Before this law was created, persons who had committed more than one DUI offense would not face jail time.

You should worry about the legal implications of DUI and beware of the danger you can cause to other road users. Colorado law enforcement is at liberty to detain a person with a DUI and release them if they don’t have any previous DUI violations.

The laws of the State of Colorado governing DUI violations can be tough, so you need to be careful lest you get pulled over or stopped at one of the sobriety checkpoints. You are free to go with your license intact once a sobriety test has been done and you are below the legal limit, as long as you take responsibility not to endanger other road users.

Just because you don’t face a jail term following an initial DUI felony does not mean everything is okay because even being booked for a ticket can influence your prospects in life, such as the chances of getting a job.

The legal limit for blood alcohol content in the State of Colorado is 0.08%. If you are found to be over the limit while operating a vehicle, you could be fined $1000, and you could be convicted of a jail term of 15 days to 18 months maximum.

Driving Under Influence Scenarios in Colorado?

When you drink and drive, the consequences can be severe. If a police officer follows your vehicle to pull you over for suspicion of driving under the influence or another driving offense, any attempt to flee will result in an automatic reckless driving charge.

It's common to hear about the devastating effects of drunk driving, but it can be difficult to understand the consequences. Drunk drivers often end up severely injured or even losing their lives. They can get involved in car accidents, and there is always someone else on the road. They can endanger their health and life.

The penalties that can be imposed in the State of Colorado for DUI include fines, license revocation, impounding of a vehicle, and even serving jail time. A person can be sentenced to a long-term jail term because of vehicular homicide and it attracts very strict penalties.

If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, you need to worry about your license. Seek the services of a good attorney for legal advice in retaining your driver’s license. Once a driver's license is suspended, it takes the skills of a good lawyer to have it reinstated again.

In the State of Colorado, DUI victims may be required to undergo alcohol education courses or serve a jail term not exceeding 90 days, which means that if an individual has multiple convictions, their sentence could surpass this number without them even knowing about it.

Driving under the influence makes life so difficult for those used to drinking alcohol and taking drugs. But the laws are for the good of everyone on the roads as DUI is likely to lead to accidents when intoxicated drivers get behind the wheel. Their motor skills will be impaired due to the interference of consumed substances.

How To Know if a Person Is Driving Under the Influence

Driving in Colorado while your ability is impaired is illegal and attracts serious penalties and charges.

Some of the signs that indicate an individual driving while their ability is under the influence include:

  • Aggressive behavior behind the wheel
  • Slurred speech
  • Maintaining focus on objects around you
  • Bloodshot eyes or glassy-eyed expression
  • Unwillingness to make eye contact with a police officer during questioning
  • A person’s inability to perform field sobriety tests such as walking heel-to-toe within 9 steps of an imaginary line for 30 seconds without stepping off a marked line.

Your level of intoxication can be low as determined by the chemical sobriety test, but still, you may be charged with DUI because of the tell-tale signs you are exhibiting, such as slurred speech, flushed skin, and repeated yawning.

If you are found guilty of DUI and seek to be eligible for a restricted driver's license, you must complete at least 12 hours of community service.

When it comes time for your DUI defense, you may not need to worry about what to say to convince the jury during your trial. Witnesses can come to your rescue by testifying that you were not exhibiting signs of intoxication while driving during the incident of your arrest.

What Do You Need To Know Before Getting a Chemical Test for DUI?

Often, you may be subjected to a chemical test for DUI yet, in fact, you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You will be arrested because of the confusion of the trace amounts of chemicals in your system mistaken for DUI.

There are a few things that you should consider before taking your DUI chemical test. Beware, you may be tricked into believing the officer is giving you an opportunity for sobriety testing by being forced into taking a Breathalyzer.  This isn't always true.

What's important is knowing what tests will be administered and what their implications mean to you. This will save you burden and time later in court proceedings. This information may also come up during preliminary discussions with lawyers.

What Is The Difference Between DUI OR DWAI?

Colorado has two sets of laws about driving under the influence.

First offenders face a license suspension in excess of 180 days and potential jail time of up to four years.

The second offense is dealt with even more harshly — mandatory driver's education classes for one year following an ignition interlock device being installed on your vehicle. Colorado State punishes drivers who get caught drinking twice as hard as first-time violators.

Does Colorado Have DUI and DWI?

Colorado is one of the few states that have DWI laws and not just DUI. This means a driver can be arrested for driving while intoxicated even if they're under 21 years old, unlike in other States where the cutoff age ranges from 18 to 20.

Colorado has two separate drunk driving offenses: DWI, whose obligations involve a motor vehicle with substance abuse, and DUI Law enforcement agencies. The two terms are used interchangeably, although one refers exclusively to drinking and violating traffic rules, while the other refers to drinking plus operating an automobile.


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