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The Basics of Colorado DUI Statutes

Colorado DUI statutes are some of the strictest in the United States, with hefty fines and possible jail time for those convicted. Understanding the laws surrounding dui in Colorado can help you to better prepare for your case and make informed decisions about your defense strategy.

Colorado's DUI Law in Summary

In Colorado, it is illegal for anyone to drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08%. A BAC of under 0.08% may still result in an arrest if the individual appears to be impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol. The laws for DUI and DWAI (.05%) also include chemical testing requirements, such as breathalyzer results or blood draws, and refusal to submit may lead to harsher penalties.

Blood alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits Under Colorado DUI Laws

Under Colorado DUI and DWAI statutes, a driver can be arrested if their BAC is at or above 0.08%. An individual may still be arrested for driving under the influence, even if the BAC result is below 0.08%, if the officer believes that the driver appears to be impaired due to alcohol consumption. Depending on whether it's a first-time offense or a repeat offense, penalties for violating these limits can range from simple fines to jail time.

Penalties for DUI Convictions in Colorado

If convicted, first-time offenders may face between 5 days and 1 year in jail; fines from $500 to $1,000; between 48 and 96 hours of community service; license suspension for up to one year; mandatory alcohol/drug education; and installation of an ignition interlock device for two years. Penalties for repeat offenses become more severe, including longer prison sentences and higher fines.

Enhanced Penalties for Excessive BAC or High-Risk Driving Violations

The state of Colorado takes an especially hard line on those accused of driving under the influence with a BAC exceeding 0.15%. In these cases, the penalties become even more severe and can include up to 2 years on an ignition interlock. In addition, a mandatory sentence of 10 days will be imposed for any DUI over .20%.

Rights of the Accused Under Colorado DUI Statutes

Under Colorado DUI law, anyone accused of driving under the influence has certain rights that must be respected. These include the right to remain silent, the right to consult with a lawyer before participating in a police interrogation but not before taking a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test, and the right to refuse said tests unless they have been ordered by a judge. Additionally, any incriminating statements made while under arrest can not be used against someone later on in court proceedings if they were not advised of their rights.

What Happens After An Arrest?