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Colorado DUI Lawyers

Defense for DUI and DWAI Charges in Colorado

Being arrested and charged for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs can threaten your freedom and future. After an arrest, it's important to remain calm and enlist the help of an experienced attorney to defend yourself against serious criminal charges and penalties.

At Cantafio & Song PLLC, we fight aggressively to secure the best possible results in your DUI case. Contact Our Colorado DUI attorneys for a consultation today!

What are the Penalties for a First DUI/DWAI in Colorado?

Being convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) can result in serious legal penalties, including jail time and fines. In Colorado, first-time offenders can face anywhere from two days to one year in jail, plus fines ranging from $600 to $1,500. Here's what you need to know about penalties for a first-time DUI or DWAI conviction in Colorado.

DUI Penalties

A conviction of driving under the influence (DUI) carries stricter penalties than driving while ability impaired (DWAI). For first-time offenders, this can include either two days up to one year in jail and/or fines between $600-$1,500. If aggravating factors like high blood alcohol level, excessive speed, or having minors in the vehicle are part of your case, then harsher penalties may be enforced beyond the minimum requirements listed above. Community service may also be possible depending on the judge's ruling.

DWAI Penalties

Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is less severe than a full DUI charge but still carries consequences if found guilty. Minimum sentences for a first offense include two days to 180 days in jail and fines up to $500 plus possible community service work and/or mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education class or treatment program.

It is important to note that both DUI and DWAI charges can accrue additional fees related to court costs, probation terms, or any other associated expenses based on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. All told, these kinds of offenses can impact people's lives - both criminal and social implications - for many years after a conviction is issued, so it's essential to take them seriously!

Contact Cantafio & Song PLLC today to schedule a FREE consultation with our DUI lawyer in Colorado!


Cases We Handle

During the initial stages of your case, a Colorado DUI lawyer from our firm can help explain your rights, what to expect, and how we can guide you step by step through your legal journey. Because Colorado DUI cases involve two separate DUI proceedings, our lawyers are prepared to assist you during both:

  • Criminal Cases – Criminal proceedings concern whether or not a motorist is guilty of a criminal offense for driving under the influence. Criminal cases are separate from DMV hearings and determine what penalties – if any – a defendant will face upon conviction, including fines, imprisonment, probation, and others.
  • DMV Hearings – Administrative hearings with the DMV concern only a motorist's driving privileges. These hearings must be requested within 7 days after an arrest – the sooner the better – and are overseen by a DMV employee, who makes a final recommendation regarding license suspension or revocation.

Cantafio & Song PLLC handles the full range of DUI cases and issues, including:

DWAI Vs. DUI Charges in Colorado

In Colorado, there are two different charges that a driver who has failed a field sobriety test can face: Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI). You may be charged with be DWAI if your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is found to be 0.05 or higher. you may be charged with DUI if your BAC is 0.08 or higher.

Although the penalties for DUI are more severe, both have serious consequences, and it is vital that you make full use of your right to mount a defense.

  • Driving While Ability-Impaired (DWAI): Colorado has a separate charge that can be filed against a person who tests with a blood alcohol content (BAC) in excess of 0.05%. Although the DWAI charge carries lighter penalties than a DUI charge, these are still criminal charges that should be taken seriously. A conviction for a DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se is a "major traffic violation" for purposes of being classified as a Habitual Traffic Offender by the DMV.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): This charge is brought when the driver of a motor vehicle (car, motorcycle, etc.) is significantly incapable of operating that motor vehicle safely, regardless of how low the driver's BAC is. Conviction of a DUI carries the likelihood of driver's license suspension, criminal fines, required driver-education courses, and even the possibility of jail time.

What Are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in Colorado?

It is unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs in all fifty states, but the specific penalties associated with DUI vary from state to state. In Colorado, the term "DUI" can refer to two offenses:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Driving under the influence of another controlled substance (drugs)

What is "DWAI?"

DWAI is like drunk driving, but the blood-alcohol content (BAC) threshold is .05% instead of .08%. The penalties associated with this offense are usually less severe than a traditional drunk driving conviction. If you are less than 21 years old, you can face DWAI or DUI charges for driving with a BAC of .02%. Click here to learn more about DWAI and DUI defense and the difference between these charges.

DUI Penalties in Colorado:

1st DUI Conviction

  • Up to one year in jail
  • $1,000 fine
  • 9-month license suspension
  • 12 license points
  • 96 hours of public service
  • Alcohol treatment program

2nd DUI Conviction

  • One year in jail
  • $1,500 fine
  • 1-year license suspension
  • Ignition interlock device
  • 12 license points
  • 120 hours of public service

3rd DUI Conviction

  • One year in jail
  • $1,500 fine
  • 2-year license suspension
  • Ignition interlock device
  • 12 license points
  • 112 hours of public service

DWAI Penalties in Colorado:

1st DWAI Conviction

  • Jail (up to 180 days)
  • $500 fine
  • 8 License Points
  • 48 hours of public service
  • No license suspension

2nd DWAI Conviction

  • One year in jail
  • $1,500 fine
  • 1-year license suspension
  • 12 license points
  • 120 hours of public service

3rd DWAI Conviction

  • One year in jail
  • $1,000 fine
  • 2-years' license suspension
  • 8 license points
  • 96 hours of public service

Prior DWAI & DUI Offenses

If you were arrested for DWAI and have a previous DUI conviction, you could face stricter penalties, including a $1,200 fine and up to 104 hours of public service. If you were arrested for DUI with a previous DWAI conviction, you will face up to one year in jail, a $1,500 fine, and 112 hours of public service.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

Early in 2009, Colorado enacted a new law that allows a driver convicted of a first DUI or DWAI to end a driver's license suspension early by agreeing to place an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle/s. An ignition interlock device is an alcohol-testing device that prevents operation of the vehicle if the driver does not "blow sober."

Driver's License Suspension Hearings in Colorado

Your driver's license will be automatically suspended upon receiving a DUI citation. Drivers have seven days to request a hearing with the Colorado DMV to determine whether the license will be suspended for a longer period of time.

Arrested for DUI? Call our DUI lawyers in Colorado at (888) 458-0991 today to make a confidential appointment.

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Our firms mission is to obtain superior legal results for our clients, with unmatched customer service, while serving as trusted advisors. At Cantafio & Song PLLC, we pride ourselves with offering the highest quality of legal services by understanding and responding to our clients’ key objectives and goals. We remember that our clients look to us as problem solvers in an evolving legal environment. And we are always seeking to thrive as a firm through the referrals and opportunities we receive by obtaining superior results.

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