3 reasons Colorado drivers should hire a lawyer after a DUI arrest

Following a DUI arrest, many choose not to hire an attorney, but there are a number of advantages to obtaining legal counsel that may affect their cases.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there are over 26,000 DUI arrests across the state every year. Whether it is their first drunk driving arrest or they have been suspected of this offense previously, many people choose to handle their cases on their own. However, there are a number of benefits to hiring a DUI lawyer, which may have a significant impact on the outcomes of their cases.

Knowledge of the laws

Most people are aware that they can be arrested for driving under the influence if they have a blood alcohol concentration level of at least .08 percent. The Colorado Department of Transportation points out that people who have a BAC of 0.05 percent or whose driving ability is slightly impaired may be charged with driving while ability impaired, or DWAI. The consequence people could face as a result of such arrests vary based on their exact BAC levels, the charges they are facing and other circumstances.

DUI lawyers understand the laws and stay up to date on these types of charges. They may draw on this knowledge to help them establish a defense for their clients that will stand up to the opposition.

Dealing with the penalties

A DUI is more than just a traffic ticket. This offense may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, and carries a range of penalties. For a first time DUI conviction, people may be ordered to pay a fine of between $600 and $1,000, sentenced to between five days and one year in jail, or ordered to complete alcohol education courses, among other penalties, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Attorneys who focus their practice on drunk driving defense are familiar with the state's mandatory sentencing requirements, including the minimum and maximum penalties. They may draw on this knowledge to help them negotiate for lesser penalties whenever possible.

Countering the evidence

Drunk driving arrests in Colorado and elsewhere are often based on evidence such as how drivers' perform on roadside and Breathalyzer tests. Consequently, failing such tests may seem insurmountable. There are numerous factors, however, might affect the results of field sobriety and breath tests.

Lawyers who handle DUI cases know what factors could lead to poor performance on roadside tests or falsely elevated blood alcohol levels. Therefore, they may be able to call this type of evidence into question at trial. In the event drivers refuse such testing, DUI attorneys may be able to persuade juries that their refusals were based on them knowing their rights, and not in an effort to hide something.

Looking out for the future

Drunk driving is considered a serious offense in Colorado, and thus, it may be aggressively prosecuted. In order to protect their rights, people who have been charged with DUI may find it helpful to obtain legal representation. An attorney may help them understand how the laws apply to their situations, explain their options and guide them through the legal process.