The many ways a DUI can impact someone’s life

Those with DUI convictions can be affected for years. The potential consequences involve fines, jail time and difficulty keeping a job.

Summer is just around the corner for Colorado residents, and with an increase in summer activities, there will be an increase in alcohol-related fun. There is nothing wrong with having a few friends with friends. However, an afternoon or evening out drinking might result in a DUI charge. It is important to understand the potential costs, both immediate and long-term, of a DUI.

What are the penalties I face for a DUI conviction in Colorado?

According to the Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services, the following consequences apply to numerous drunk driving convictions:

• The loss of a driver's license for nine months for a first offense, and 12 months for a second conviction

• Up to one year in jail for a first conviction

• A fine between $600 and $1,000

• Public service ranging from 48 to 96 hours

The penalties for drunk driving are significantly higher for more than one conviction. Also, according to the Colorado General Assembly, those with multiple convictions or a blood alcohol content higher than .17 percent are required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for at least one year.

How can a drunk driving conviction impact my education or employment?

Being accused of a crime like drunk driving can come with serious educational or job ramifications. Some universities impose additional penalties on students who are convicted of alcohol-related crimes. These may include being suspended from sports teams or expulsion from the school. It can be difficult for those with suspended licenses to drive to work or school. In some cases, an employer may decide there is too much risk involved to employ someone with a DUI conviction, especially if the arrest occurred during work duties.

Are there any long-term disadvantages to having a DUI?

A criminal record can come with embarrassing social stigma, especially if jail time was served. It is not unheard of for those with convictions to lose friends and to be isolated from family members. They may have difficulty finding employment or continuing their education with a drunk driving conviction on their record, especially if their line of work requires driving on the job. It may also be difficult to adjust to life after being released from prison, if a DUI conviction resulted in a lengthy prison time.

All of these reasons detail why you need a strong defense when you are charged with a DUI. An experienced Colorado drunk driving defense attorney should attempt to minimize your penalties wherever possible, and in some cases may be able to get your charges dropped.