Many people in Colorado have faced charges related to driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol or both at some point in their lives. However, it would be a mistake to assume that because it is a common offense it does not need to be taken seriously. In fact, DUI and DUID charges carry serious penalties in Colorado – even for your first offense.
The following penalties apply to those who are 21 years of age or older.
The first time you are convicted of driving under the influence in Colorado, your license will be revoked for a period of nine months. When your livelihood depends on your ability to drive – whether to get to and from work or to pick up your kids from school or practice – a suspended license can create serious hardships. You may be eligible to reinstate your driving privileges early if you are willing to get an ignition interlock device installed in your car and complete other requirements.
Possible jail time
A first-time DUI conviction is classified as a traffic misdemeanor. However, you may still face jail time. Under Colorado law, the first time you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will be ordered to spend anywhere from five days to one year in jail unless you complete certain conditions, including enrollment in and completion of a qualified drug and alcohol education and therapy program.
On top of jail time and license revocation you will also face fines for a DUI conviction. Fines for a first-time DUI range from $600 to $1,000.
Community service requirements
In Colorado, a first-time DUI conviction also comes with a public service requirement. If you are convicted, you will have to complete up to 96 hours of community service.
Other repercussions of a DUI
Aside from administrative and criminal penalties, a DUI conviction can have negative impacts on your personal and professional life. With a DUI on your record, it can be more difficult to find housing. If you drive as part of your job, it may cause problems at work. A DUI can also cause tension in your personal relationships.
What to do if you are facing charges
If you are charged with DUI, your best chance at avoiding these harsh penalties is to speak with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney with experience in DUI defense will know how best to challenge the charges. They can guide you through the process, ensure your rights are protected along the way, and help you build a strong defense aimed at minimizing or eliminating the consequences.