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What Are The Penalties for a DUI in Denver?

What Are The Penalties for a DUI in Denver?

Denver DWAI vs DUI

When an evening out in Denver ends with a night spent in jail for a DUI, it’s important to act quickly. You face significant consequences for getting a DUI in Colorado. However, before you’re jailed and fined, you need to be convicted. Time for protecting yourself from a Denver DUI conviction is limited. It’s best to understand the serious penalties for getting a DUI in Denver and call a DUI defense lawyer to get started on your case.

Understanding DUIs in Denver

Denver is home to over 80 breweries, nearly 100 distilleries, and countless bars, clubs, and restaurants. For visitors and residents alike, alcohol often forms an integral part of enjoying the city’s unique local culture. However, consuming alcohol before driving can easily lead to being arrested for driving under the influence, or DUI.

Under Colorado law, Denver police can pull over a driver suspected of DUI if they have probable cause to believe the driver is under the influence. Examples of probable cause in this situation might include:

  • Erratic driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving significantly under or over the speed limit
  • Being passed out in the driver’s seat of a running vehicle.

If Denver law enforcement suspects you of driving under the influence, they’ll likely administer a blood alcohol test. Denver drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher will automatically be arrested for DUI. You can also be charged with DUI for refusing to submit to a test under Colorado’s express consent law. Even if your BAC comes back under the legal limit, an officer can charge you with DUI if you are visibly impaired.

Were you arrested for DUI in Denver? Call 720-445-9887 to schedule a consultation with a Denver DUI defense attorney at The Law Office of Kevin Cahill.

What Are the Consequences for Getting a DUI in Colorado?

All Denver DUI convictions result in an immediate suspension of your driver’s license. However, other consequences for a Denver DUI depend on a wide variety of factors. Some of the most impactful include whether:

  • You are under or over the age of 21
  • You have prior DUI convictions
  • You refused to submit to the BAC test.

Sentencing times, length of license suspension, and fines after getting a DUI in Denver are determined based on which of these categories you fall into. Even then, these only provide general guidelines. Drivers often face more significant penalties based on case-specific circumstances. Common examples include:

  • The DUI involves bodily injury or property damage.
  • The DUI involves the death of another.
  • The DUI involves other criminal charges, like evading arrest.
  • You had a minor in the vehicle at the time of the DUI.

If you’re trying to identify your penalties after getting a DUI in Colorado, it’s best to start by identifying which category your DUI falls into. However, the only way to know with certainty how a conviction will impact your life is to speak with a DUI defense attorney about your charges.

General Denver DUI Penalties

If you are over 21 and consented to the BAC test when you were pulled over, possible consequences depend on whether this is your first DUI arrest.

For a first-offense DUI in Denver, penalties can include:

  • Sentence of up to one year in jail
  • A fine of $300–$1,000
  • 48-96 hours of community service
  • Loss of your license for one to nine months
  • Up to two years of probation.

The possible penalties grow harsher when an individual has prior DUI convictions on record. A second DUI conviction brings:

  • Mandatory jail sentence of from 10 days to one year
  • A fine of $600–$1,500
  • 48-120 hours of community service
  • Loss of license for 1–12 months
  • Two to four years of probation.

With third and subsequent offenses, penalties grow more complicated. Upon a third DUI, a driver can be deemed by the court to be a habitual offender. Mandatory minimum jail sentences are extended, and you can lose your license for years. Fourth and subsequent DUIs in Colorado are considered felonies.

All Denver drivers convicted of DUI can face additional consequences that include:

  • SR-22 insurance
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Enrollment in an alcohol education program
  • License reinstatement fees.

Nearly all Denver DUIs result in the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device for two years.

Penalties for Getting a DUI in Colorado as an Underage Driver

Colorado laws handle underage DUIs differently than DUI cases involving drivers over the age of 21. Denver laws for underage drinking and driving quickly become complicated. Underage drivers with a BAC over the legal limit of 0.08 can face the same consequences as drivers over the age of 21.

Denver DUI penalties are more complicated for underage drivers. Consequences depend heavily on the driver’s BAC and number of prior convictions.

For a BAC under 0.02, an underage driver can be charged with underage drinking and driving, which is not the same as a DUI. When BAC falls between 0.02 and 0.05, penalties for an underage DUI include possible jail time and loss of license starting at three months for a first offense.

DUI Penalties in Denver for Refusing a BAC Test

If a Denver driver is pulled over for DUI and refuses to submit to a BAC test, they can automatically be charged with DUI. Sentencing for a DUI involving BAC test refusal generally follows the same schedule of fines, sentencing time, and probation as other drivers, including participation in an alcohol education program and use of an ignition interlock device.

The chief difference in cases involving a BAC test refusal is the license suspension times. Here, the mandatory minimum rises to two months, and even a first offense can result in loss of license for a year.

Call a Denver DUI Defense Attorney Today

The consequences of getting a DUI in Colorado can be severe. Even a first offense can have a long-term impact on your future. If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Denver, the time to protect your future is now. The Law Office of Kevin Cahill has a proven history of helping clients successfully fight back against DUI charges in Colorado.

Call The Law Office of Kevin Cahill at 720-445-9887 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Denver DUI defense attorney.

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