Drunk drivers can be charged with either a DUI charge or a DWAI charge within the state lines of Colorado. After an arrest for one of these charges, an individual only has seven days to request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles. If an individual does not request a hearing with the DMV within these seven days, his or her driver’s license will be automatically suspended.
A request will also need to be sent through the Colorado Department of Revenue within sixty days of the arrest date. The Colorado Department of Revenue includes the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles. This request will help the individual keep his or her driver’s license until he or her has a verdict from the court.
DUI versus DWAI
In Colorado an individual may be arrested for drunk driving and charged with one of two offenses. The Driving Under the Influence charges are made if the driver has a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08 percent. The Driving While Ability Impaired charges are made if the driver has a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent or more. A DWAI charge is less severe than a DUI charge and includes only slight judgment impairment. Drunk driving laws are also associated with per se laws.
Per se laws are different in Colorado than other states. Those who are arrested for having a blood alcohol content over 0.08 percent are also given per se charges. Per se laws are based solely on body chemistry and are not affected by field sobriety tests or the individual’s driving pattern.
Driving Under the Influence Punishments
Driving under the influence charges in Colorado can only receive a maximum punishment of a one thousand-dollar fine, one year in a county jail, an alcohol evaluation, ninety-six hours if mandatory public service, no more than eighty-six hours of alcohol therapy, and a required course on alcohol education.
A blood alcohol content over 0.20 percent usually receives ten days in jail. Prior offenses, usually second or third offenses, will increase a current charge and increase the amount of possible jail time. First-time offenders will often have unsupervised probation from one year to two years. Public service can be included along with alcohol evaluations, alcohol education courses, and fines of five hundred dollars.
Colorado DUI Charges for Minors
Minors in Colorado are often treated the same as adults in DUI cases. However the blood alcohol content level for minors is decreased from 0.05 percent to 0.02 percent to be considered drunk driving. Minors are often subject to driver’s license suspension if under the age of eighteen.
When attending court the minor is required to have his or her parent or guardian present. Colorado has a point system of minor offenders. The number of offenses and points accumulated increases the charges. Upon a conviction the minor will receive points, community service, and fines. A second offense of a minor DUI is changed to a Class 2 Misdemeanor and can have a punishment of up to ninety days in jail.