| Read Time: 4 minutes | DUI
How long is a DUI on your record in colorado

In 2018 alone, Colorado reported 188 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. That made up approximately 29.7% of the state’s total fatalities that year. Approximately 76.9% of the alcohol-impaired driving fatalities involved drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above 0.15%. These numbers remain staggering despite the fact that 20,353 drivers were arrested in 2018 on suspicion of driving under the influence.

If you find yourself facing DUI charges in Colorado, you have no time to waste. Whether you have a prior DUI record or not, hiring an attorney gives you the best chance of securing a favorable outcome in your case.

Our team at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., carries on a decades-old Colorado tradition of providing a strong voice for individuals facing criminal charges. As a former public defender,  Attorney Daniel Gerash has defended dozens of clients facing allegations of driving under the influence in Colorado. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.

What Qualifies As a DUI in Colorado?

Colorado’s DUI law (C.R.S. 42-4-1301) prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Colorado considers “under the influence” to include when the driver:

  • Has his or her ability to drive safely substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol; or
  • Has a blood-alcohol content (BAC) at or above 0.08%. 

Even if your BAC registers below 0.08%, you could still face charges for driving while ability impaired (DWAI). 

A DUI conviction can seriously affect your life. Beyond the possibility of spending time in jail, you could incur thousands of dollars in fines and other costs. In some cases, a legal defense could apply to your case and help convince the prosecutor to reduce your charges or drop them entirely. For example, if you weren’t driving the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop, but the police arrested you anyway, you might be able to use that legal defense in negotiations with the prosecutor. 

Penalties for DUI

The potential penalties imposed for a DUI depend on a number of factors. Most importantly, the punishment differs based on whether you have another DUI in your record. Once defendants realize the importance of their past DUI record, many ask, How long does a DUI stay on your record? In Colorado, the answer is forever. Unlike some states, Colorado does not have a “lookback period” after which prior drunk driving offenses no longer appear on your record or count against you.  Additionally, the following crimes also count as a prior conviction:

  • Driving while ability impaired;
  • Vehicular assault DUI; and
  • Vehicular homicide DUI.

Any prior conviction for DUI or one of the crimes listed above will result in an enhanced sentence.

First DUI

A first-time DUI conviction carries the following potential penalties:

  • A minimum of five days and up to one year in jail;
  • A fine of up to $1,000;
  • License revocation for up to nine months;
  • Up to 96 hours of community service; and
  • Substance abuse education classes. 

Individuals with no prior DUI record receive the least severe penalties.

Second DUI

Individuals with one previous conviction on their DUI record face more mandatory jail time. Additionally, a second DUI includes the following potential penalties:

  • A minimum of 10 days and up to one year in jail;
  • A fine of up to $1,500;
  • License revocation for up to one year;
  • Up to 120 hours of community service;
  • At least two years of probation;
  • Substance abuse education courses; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for up to two years.

Beyond the criminal penalties, many of the requirements imposed by a DUI conviction cost extra money that will come out of your pocket.

Third DUI

Though still a misdemeanor, a third DUI on your record comes with even more severe penalties. These potential penalties include:

  • A minimum of 60 days or up to one year in jail;
  • A fine of up to $1,500;
  • Two years of driver’s license revocation;
  • Up to 120 hours of community service;
  • Up to four years on probation; and
  • Mandatory participation in alcohol education classes.

As you can see, your DUI record plays a big role in the level of penalties you can receive if you are convicted.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record for Other Purposes?

A DUI can negatively impact other areas of your life beyond the immediate criminal consequences. For example, individuals with DUI convictions can face higher car insurance premiums for up to seven years. A DUI on your background check can also result in limited job opportunities and hold you back from pursuing certain employment fields altogether. 

Unfortunately, a DUI conviction will appear on your criminal background check forever. 

Facing a DUI Conviction with a Previous DUI Record? Contact Our Team of DUI Lawyers Today

A DUI conviction is a serious matter that can impact your life in a number of ways, up to and including incarceration. When your freedom is at stake, you want a qualified attorney to fight on your behalf. Having an experienced DUI charges lawyer in your corner gives you the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. At Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., it is our mission to defend the constitutional and statutory rights of our clients who are facing criminal allegations. Mr. Daniel P. Gerash has proven himself to be a strong legal advocate for criminal defendants. In fact, Mr. Gerash holds memberships with the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, just to name a few. He has also earned an AV® Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, achieving the highest possible rating in both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards.Our team at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., fights to win. If you have been charged with DUI in Colorado, take action and contact our firm today.

Author Photo


At Gerash Steiner Blanton P.C., we pride ourselves on providing exceptional legal services to every one of our clients. Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to representing individuals and businesses in a wide range of legal matters. We understand that every case is unique and will always provide personalized solutions to meet your immediate legal needs.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars