Colorado imposes serious penalties against individuals convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to jail time, a DUI or DUID conviction in Colorado can lead to the revocation of your driver’s license and mandatory participation in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., our team of Centennial DUI attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to represent you against DUI and DUID charges. We carry on a decades-old Colorado tradition of providing a strong voice for individuals facing criminal charges. We proudly continue the legacy of now-retired Colorado legal icon Walter L. Gerash. Attorney Daniel P. Gerash has over 30 years of experience representing criminal defendants in local Colorado communities at the federal, state, and municipal levels. 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.

How Does Colorado Define DUI and DUID?

Colorado law (C.R.S. 42-4-1301) outlaws the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Colorado, “under the influence” means the driver:

  • Has a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher; or
  • Has their ability to drive safely substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol.

If your BAC was below 0.08%, but above 0.00, you’ll likely face charges of driving while ability impaired (DWAI) instead of DUI charges. A DWAI conviction warrants less severe penalties than a DUI or DUID conviction.

Penalties for DUI and DUID in Centennial, CO

A DUI case in Centennial.

Colorado’s DUI penalties can depend on a number of factors. A common justification for enhancing DUI penalties arises when the defendant has prior DUI convictions. Unlike some states, Colorado does not implement a “lookback period” after which prior drunk driving offenses disappear from your record. Any previous DUI in any U.S. state is considered a prior conviction. 

Even if you’ve been convicted multiple times, our Centennial DUID attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., can guide you through the process and attempt to secure a favorable outcome in your case.

First Time DUI or DUID Conviction

Colorado considers a first-time DUI conviction a misdemeanor. Individuals convicted of their first DUI will face the least severe penalties compared to those with additional convictions. First-time DUI convictions carry a variety of consequences, including:

  • Between five days and 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. 

You can face enhanced penalties if your BAC was above 0.15% at the time of your arrest, and the state can designate you a “persistent drunk driver.”

Before you plead guilty to any charges, you should consult with one of our Centennial, CO DUI lawyers.

Second Time DUI or DUID Conviction

Colorado also treats a second DUI conviction as a misdemeanor offense. However, the second DUI conviction carries enhanced penalties when compared to the first. A second-time DUI conviction carries the following potential penalties:

  • Between 10 days and 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.

Our Centennial DUID lawyers possess extensive experience representing individuals accused of driving under the influence. Contact us today for assistance with your case.

Third Time DUI or DUID Conviction

As expected, individuals facing a third DUI conviction face even more severe consequences. Like a 1st and 2nd DUI conviction, Colorado considers a 3rd DUI conviction a misdemeanor. For a 3rd DUI conviction, the potential penalties include:

  • Between sixty days and one year in jail;
  • A fine of up to $1,500;
  • License revocation for up to two years;
  • Up to 120 hours of community service;
  • Up to four years of probation; and
  • Substance abuse education courses.

The primary difference between your 3rd DUI conviction and the prior two involves the amount of time you’ll spend in jail.

Express Consent Law—Refusal in Colorado

Under Colorado’s express consent law, all motorists give implied consent to submit to a blood or breath test in the event they are arrested on suspicion of DUI or DUID. The express consent law does not apply to the preliminary breath test (PBT) that officers may request at the scene of the traffic stop. You can refuse a PBT without penalty. The express consent law applies only to the evidentiary breath or blood test collected at the police station. 

In most cases, refusing to submit to this blood or breath test is a bad idea. If you do, you can face an additional charge of “refusal.” The penalties for refusing the test include:

  • Automatic license suspension for one year;
  • Designation as a “persistent drunk driver”;
  • Mandatory alcohol and drug education and treatment program; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for at least one year.

Additionally, the prosecution can use your refusal as evidence of guilt if your case goes to trial. 

Our Centennial, CO DUI Attorneys Can Help

Our Centennial DUI lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to defend against allegations that you were operating your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. With experience as a public defender, Mr. Gerash possesses extensive trial experience defending the constitutional rights of his clients. To learn more about our firm and speak to one of our Centennial DUI/DUID attorneys about your case, contact our attorneys for a free case evaluation today.