Were you pulled over and arrested for a Boulder DUI offense? Are you worried about the impact that a DUI conviction could have on your life? Do you need your driver’s license to commute to work or take your children to school? If so, contact the Boulder DUI attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C.
At the criminal defense law firm of Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we aggressively represent clients charged with DUI offenses. Our criminal defense attorneys are committed to protecting your rights at every stage of the process, starting from the moment you bring us onto your case.
Attorneys Daniel Gerash, Eric Steiner, and Michael Blanton are proud to carry on the legacy of excellence established by legendary Colorado criminal defense attorney Walter L. Gerash. As a result of our aggressive representation, we have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell as exceptional advocates.
Colorado DUI Offenses
Everyone knows that driving under the influence is illegal. However, every state has its own DUI laws, and state DUI laws vary. In Colorado, there are a few different types of DUI offenses, all of which are contained in Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-1301.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Under state law, someone is guilty of driving under the influence if they drive while “under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs.” Typically, Boulder DUI lawyers use the term DUI to refer to driving under the influence offenses involving alcohol and DUID to refer to those offenses involving drugs.
Prosecutors often use chemical test results to prove that a driver’s blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit of .08%. However, that is not a legal requirement. Similarly, the government does not need to present test results showing that drugs were in your system. In either case, the prosecution need only establish that you were “substantially incapable… to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.”
If police officers took a blood or breath test confirming your blood-alcohol content was .08% or greater, it’s called a “DUI per se.” In these cases, the government does not need to prove that your ability to drive was impacted by your alcohol consumption. In other words, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol content of .08% or more, regardless of whether you exhibited any signs of dangerous driving.
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)
If your blood-alcohol content is less than .08% or the government does not have chemical test results, prosecutors can pursue a charge of driving while ability impaired. DWAI offenses apply to both drugs and alcohol. Because DWAI charges are easier to prove in most cases, prosecutors will often charge both DUI and DWAI offenses at the same time. If a judge or jury convicts you of both offenses, however, the judge must order your sentences for each offense to run concurrently—or at the same time.
Punishments for Boulder DWAI and DUI Offenses
DWAI, DUI, and DUI per se are misdemeanors unless you have three prior convictions, in which case they become felonies. However, the punishment for DUI and DUI per se convictions are harsher than for DWAI.
Colorado judges use escalating punishments based on the number of prior convictions.
DUI and DUI Per Se Penalties:
- Five days to one year in jail;
- A fine of at least $650, up to $1,000;
- A minimum of 48 hours of community service.
However, if your blood-alcohol content was .20% or more, the minimum term of incarceration increases to 10 days in jail.
- 2 – 10 days in jail;
- A fine of at least $200, up to $500;
- A minimum of 24 hours of community service.
Again, if your blood-alcohol content was .20% or more, the minimum term of incarceration increases to 10 days in jail.
The punishment for a second-offense DUI, DUI Per Se, or DWAI are the same and include:
- At least 10 consecutive days in jail, up to one year;
- A fine of at least $650, up to $1,500;
- A minimum of 48 hours of community service; and
- Two years of probation.
Judges have significant discretion in coming up with a sentence. For example, judges are not required to sentence you to any jail time for your first DUI if you undergo a presentence or post-sentence alcohol and drug evaluation and complete any recommended treatment program. However, judges are not always looking to take it easy on a DUI offender. This is where an experienced Boulder DUI defense lawyer can make a real difference in your case by explaining to the judge why the best option is to keep you out of jail.
Defenses to Boulder DUI Offenses
Like all other crimes, there is a wide range of defenses to DUIs and DWAIs. Perhaps the most common defense in these cases involves challenging the police officer’s actions leading up to your arrest. Under the state and federal constitutions, law enforcement officers must respect drivers’ constitutional rights as they investigate a possible crime. For example, police officers must be able to support their decision to pull you over, demand you take a blood or breath test, or arrest you for driving under the influence. If an officer’s stated reasons for their actions are suspect or are not supported by the facts, any evidence the officer obtained will likely be excluded at trial. In most cases, this leaves the prosecution without their most important evidence, often resulting in a withdrawal of charges or an offer to plead to a much less serious traffic offense.
Contact Experienced Boulder DUI Attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C
If police recently arrested you for DUI or DWAI, reach out to the law firm of Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C to discuss your case. We have decades of experience litigating some of the toughest cases and know how to create a compelling DUI defense. We believe in fostering long-term relationships with our clients and work towards this goal from the moment we meet with you. When you bring us onto your team, we will give you the personal phone number of your lawyer. That way, you can reach them whenever you need to. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with a DUI lawyer today, give us a call.