Longmont DUI lawyers

Were you recently pulled over in Longmont, Colorado, and charged with drunk driving? If this is your first time being accused of DUI, you are undoubtedly terrified of what is to come. If this is your second or third offense, you are likely very concerned about the enhanced penalties for repeat offenders. The consequences of a conviction can be steep and far-reaching. Over the years, the Colorado legislature has taken a tough stance on drunk driving, and these charges can often be hard to beat. However, hiring an experienced Longmont DUI attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we know how to defeat these accusations. 

Colorado DUI and DWAI Law

All states throughout the country have made drunk driving illegal to some extent. Most make it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08%. Colorado laws are unique because drivers may be charged even if their BAC is below 0.08%. Colorado has both a driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI) statute. 

Like many states, Colorado defines DUI as the operation of a motor vehicle by an individual with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. 

However, there is a second crime. DWAI makes it unlawful for a driver to operate a vehicle with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 percent. This significantly reduces the alcohol you can lawfully consume before getting by the wheel. 

Additionally, minors (under 21 years old) can be charged with underage drunk driving (UDD) if their BAC is 0.02% or higher.

Though DWAI charges are perceived to be a lesser crime than DUI, both carry similar penalties, including jail sentences if convicted. Typically, the main difference between the two is that a DWAI will not result in automatic license suspension. Whether you face DUI or DWAI allegations, our Longmont criminal defense lawyers can help you better understand your charges. Don’t let either offense ruin your reputation and livelihood. Contact today our DUI lawyers in Longmont for a free assessment of your case. 

Potential Penalties for a Colorado Drunk Driving Conviction

The penalties for even a first-offense drunk driving conviction are steep and become increasingly harsh from there.

First-Offense DUI

A first DUI conviction is punishable by:

  • Five days but up to one year in jail;
  • A fine between $600 and $1,000;
  • Community service;
  • Nine months of driver’s license revocation; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

A jail sentence becomes mandatory if your BAC is 0.20% or greater.

Second-Offense DUI

A second DUI conviction is punishable by:

  • Ten days but up to one year in jail;
  • A fine between $600 and $1,500;
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to one year;
  • Community service;
  • Alcohol education classes; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

If your initial DUI charge was within the last five years, the mandatory minimum 10-day jail sentence must be served consecutively. 

Third-Offense DUI

A third DUI conviction is punishable by:

  • 60 days but up to one year in jail;
  • A fine between $600 and $1,500;
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to two years;
  • Community service;
  • Alcohol education classes;
  • Continuous alcohol monitoring for 90 days if granted probation; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

You will be deemed a persistent drunk driver (PDD) upon a third DUI conviction, which carries enhanced penalties, including lengthy revocation periods and ignition interlock requirements. 

DWAI Penalties

While DWAI is often labeled a “less serious offense” than DUI, it carries almost as significant of penalties, and the negative impacts on your social and professional can be profound.

First DWAI Conviction

  • Two days but up to 180 days in jail; and
  • A fine between $200 and $500.

A jail sentence is mandatory if your BAC of 0.20% or greater.

Second DWAI Conviction

  • Ten days but up to one year in jail;
  • A fine between $600 and $1,500; and
  • 1-year driver’s license suspension.

The ten-day jail sentence is a mandatory minimum.

Third DWAI Conviction 

  • 60 days but up to 1 year in jail (10-day mandatory minimum sentence);
  • A fine between $600 and $1,500; and 
  • A 2-year license suspension.

You may also have to submit to continuous alcohol monitoring and education classes. 

Felony DUI

In Colorado, driving under the influence becomes a felony if you seriously injure or kill another person or have three or more prior DUI convictions. As you might imagine, the penalties for felony DUI increase exponentially, including years in Colorado state prison. 

All DUI convictions lead to a tarnished record and reputation. It could cost you your job, your friendships, and more. If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, contact a Longmont DUI lawyer immediately.

Refusal Charges

In exchange for driving privileges, all Colorado drivers are assumed to have given their express consent to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test if arrested on suspected drunk driving charges. 

In other words, you must comply with specific laws as a condition of having a license. 

Colorado’s express consent law has significant penalties for refusing a chemical test, including:

  • A one-year automatic suspension of your driver’s license;
  • Mandatory alcohol and drug education and treatment programs;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your car for at least one year following the restoration of driving privileges; and
  • Classification as a “persistent drunk driver” (PDD).

Should your case proceed to trial, the prosecutor can use your refusal as evidence of guilt. 

Notably, the express consent law does not apply to preliminary roadside tests, including a roadside breathalyzer. It only applies to chemical tests administered after you are arrested and processed. 

Contact Our Longmont DUI Attorneys

Do not lose hope if you are charged with a DUI in Longmont, CO. An experienced Longmont DUI lawyer on our team will review your case for all possible defenses and strategize the best way to fight against these charges. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, we believe all individuals accused of a crime deserve an advocate and a voice. Contact our DUI attorneys immediately to discuss your Longmont DUI case today.