Aurora, Colorado offers a multitude of attractions for both residents and visitors alike. Pike’s Peak and Garden of the Gods, for example, are both world-class tourist attractions. Like everywhere else, however, Aurora has its dark side, including the possibility of a DUI or DUID arrest.
The Aurora DUI/DUID attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., continue a decades-old Colorado tradition of providing a strong voice for criminal defendants. Our attorneys provide world-class representation in their own particular areas of practice. We are rated AV Preeminent ®, the highest possible quality rating, by Martindale Hubbell®’s Peer Review Ratings.
We proudly carry the torch of legendary Colorado lawyer Walter L. Gerash, the father of our partner Daniel P. Gerash. The younger Gerash is a former public defender who has accumulated a wealth of valuable trial experience.
DUI vs. DUID
In a nutshell, the difference between DUI and DUID is that DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol, while DUID refers to driving under the influence of drugs. The penalties are exactly the same. For a DUID, you will take a blood test instead of a breathalyzer test, and the standard of intoxication will be different. For marijuana, the standard of intoxication is at least five nanograms of delta-9 THC per milliliter of blood.
For other drugs, there may be no clear standard since there are thousands of possible intoxicating drugs in existence. But remember, the drug does not have to be illegal. Even a legal drug for which you have a prescription can land you in jail if you drive under its influence. You are going to need the assistance of Aurora DUID attorneys as soon as possible as the criminal justice process gets underway.
The penalties for a first-offense DUI or DUID include:
- Up to a year in jail;
- A fine of up to $1,000;
- A nine-month suspension of your driving privileges;
- Up to 96 hours of community service; and
- Alcohol education classes at your own expense.
Subsequent offenses can carry far more serious penalties. For example, a fourth DUI or DUID offense is a felony, even if some or all of your previous three offenses were DWAIs. The Aurora DUID lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. will fight to minimize any adverse consequences you might face.
Certain aggravating factors can render your DUI far more serious than it would otherwise be. Having an accident while intoxicated or injuring or killing someone are all examples of circumstances that could lead to serious felony charges. Other aggravating circumstances that can lead to enhanced penalties include (but are not limited to):
- Any previous DUIs, DUIDs, or DWAIs;
- Having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.15%; or
- Refusing to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test of intoxication.
The presence of an aggravating factor can greatly complicate your case. It can make it difficult to win a dismissal, an acquittal, or a favorable plea bargain. The Aurora DUI attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. have successfully handled situations like these many times before.
Your Driver’s License
If the state charges you with DUI, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license unless you challenge the suspension within seven days. In fact, the DMV can suspend your license before you are convicted of DUI, and it does not have to reinstate it even if you are cleared of all criminal charges.
If you act within the seven-day window, you can demand a hearing at which you may bring an attorney. The Aurora, CO DUID lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. have successfully represented many clients at DMV hearings.
Express Consent and Refusing to Take a Breathalyzer
You might consider refusing to take a breathalyzer or other intoxication test in the hopes of denying the state the evidence it needs to convict you of DUI. Think twice: because by refusing, you violate Colorado’s “express consent” law, with the following consequences.:
- Colorado can convict you of DUI even without a breathalyzer; and
- For a first offense, the Colorado DMV can suspend your driver’s license for a year for refusing the test, independent of whether you were intoxicated.
Therefore, it is probably not a good idea to refuse a breath, blood, or urine test even if you are intoxicated.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is a DWAI?
A DWAI is a lesser charge for driving while intoxicated. The minimum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.05% for a DWAI, compared to the 0.08% minimum for a DUI. Penalties are significant, but they are lower than the penalties for a DUI. DUI and DWAI are treated the same when determining whether to charge a driver with a subsequent offense.
Will Colorado Find Out About an Out-of-State DUI?
Probably. Under the Driver License Compact, various states share information on traffic offenses, DUIs, and driving records. Although the states of Wisconsin, Tennessee, Michigan, and Georgia are not members of the Driver License Compact, there is no guarantee that Colorado will not discover your out-of-state DUI.
Can Colorado Suspend My Out-of-State License?
No, but there are two actions that Colorado can take:
- They can suspend your right to drive in Colorado on any license; and
- They can notify your home state of your Colorado DUI charge or express consent violation.
If your own state Department of Motor Vehicles penalizes you for a Colorado DUI (which is likely), your state will apply its own penalties, not Colorado’s.
Should I Talk to the Police?
No, you shouldn’t, even if you are innocent. You have the right to remain silent. Exercise this right so that the police do not trick you into saying something that makes you sound guilty. Ask for an Aurora, CO DUID attorney, and don’t speak until you consult them.
Contact Our Aurora DUI Lawyers Immediately! Time Is Not On Your Side
The Aurora criminal charges defense lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., are ready to fight for your future and your freedom. We are intimately familiar with Colorado DUI/DUID law and with local judges and prosecutors. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation.