Penalties for drunk driving in Colorado

Colorado outlines both administrative and criminal penalties for drunk driving convictions and drivers should understand them both.

People who drive in and around Fort Collins should be aware of the laws in Colorado that govern drugged driving and drunk driving. Stereotypes of extremely inebriated and irresponsible people being arrested for drunk driving are not always the case. Very responsible persons can find themselves charged with these offenses all too easily and represent a good portion of impaired driving defendants.

Colorado divides its penalties for impaired driving offenses into two categories-administrative and criminal.

What are Colorado's administrative penalties for a DUI?

Drivers convicted of an impaired driving offense may have points added to their driving records and also face the loss of driving privileges for some period of time.

The Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services points out that a driver's license suspension can even result for the refusal to participate in substance testing upon being stopped by an officer. The length of time that driving privileges can be suspended varies from nine months for first-time DUI charges to two years for a repeat DUI offense if the third or more.

Administrative penalty details include:

  • Drivers with first-time DUI convictions will lose driving privileges for nine months and have 12 points added to their records. No points are added for DWAI convictions.
  • Drivers with second-time DUI convictions will lose driving privileges for one year and have 12 points added to their records. Eight points are added for DWAI convictions.
  • Drivers with third-time or more DUI convictions will lose driving privileges for two years and have 12 points added to their records. Eight points are added for DWAI convictions.

The Colorado Department of Revenue Department of Motor Vehicles also stipulates that drivers may be required to use ignition interlock devices for these convictions. Since January of 2014, drivers with BAC levels greater than 0.14 percent will always face the use of IDs if convicted.

What are Colorado's criminal penalties for a DUI?

Colorado.gov provides information about jail time, community service and fines that may be assessed for drivers convicted of impaired driving offenses. The length of sentences and specific fines will vary based upon the number of convictions on record.

Some persons will also be ordered to participate in alcohol and drug treatment programs. For drivers who are convicted of DUI offenses within five years of a prior conviction, the law can require enrollment in a school program or viable employment be maintained as well.

What defendants should do

Anyone arrested on suspicion of drunk or drugged driving deserves good help. Talking to an attorney is recommended as a good way of seeking a proper defense.

Keywords: DUI, drunk driving, arrest