What you need to know about your DUI case…
If you have been charged with a DUI or DWAI it is important to understand the range of likely consequences and what factors might influence the judge’s decision in the sentencing process. There are some states that require mandatory jail time for first offenders and most states will require jail time for subsequent offenses. These jail sentences can range from several months to several years. Though Colorado law is very clear about what qualifies as a DUI or DWAI, an experienced DUI lawyer will help you make a case that can influence the severity of punishment and the sentence chosen.
What Qualifies as a DUI vs. DWAI? – The main difference is blood alcohol concentration levels. In Colorado, a DWAI has a limit of .05% and a DUI is everything over .08%. For many people, they are legally impaired to drive after just two drinks. If the driver is under 21, the limits are reduced to .02%. This means that all underage drivers who have consumed even one drink will be considered driving under the influence.
What factors effect my sentencing? – Multiple factors are considered in a DUI case. Factors could include whether or not it is your first offense, the actual recorded BAC levels, the result of road side testing, the method in which testing was administered and the overall criminal history of the defendant. When gathering information for your DUI lawyer, ask yourself if the information gathered was accurate. If not, can you provide any evidence to show that the details of your case were indeed recorded falsely? Dashboard cameras, blood testing, successful road side testing and other recorded information can help your attorney explain the details of your case to the court system.
What are the likely consequences? – If you are under 21, you cannot avoid having your license revoked. Colorado has a zero tolerance for underage driving and will revoke your license for even possessing alcohol in the car if you are under 21. If you are over 21, there are a variety of consequences to choose from and penalties from both the court and the Department of Motor Vehicles apply. Below is the synopsis of options, though every case is different.
DWAI 1st offense – Up to 180 days in jail, jail time can sometimes be suspended in exchange for treatment programs, possible community service, fines and 8 points off your driver’s license.
DUI 1st offense – License revocation for 3-9 months, fines, mandatory minimum jail time of five days and up to one year of jail time, If the BAC level is below .20 the jail time can sometimes be suspended in exchange for treatment programs, community service and alcohol education.
DUI multiple offenses – Colorado increases punishment for subsequent offenders. Usually jail time is mandatory and license revocation for a period of two-five years is automatic, depending on how many DUI’s you have acquired and the length of time between them. Multiple DUI offenders should consult with a qualified DUI lawyer to ensure they are making the best choices for their defense.
The best way to keep your license and reduce unnecessary penalties is to know your rights and fight the DUI charge from the beginning. At Lacroix & Hand, our criminal defense attorneys can help you by providing a free consultation to ensure your best interests are considered from the start. Know your rights, and call 970-245-4601 to consult with our experienced DUI lawyers in Grand Junction, CO.