In most states in the U.S., being caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 will get you a DUI charge (Driving Under the Influence). Colorado has an additional charge, DWAI, Driving While Ability Impaired, which can apply at lower BAC levels if it can be shown that your ability to drive was affected to any degree whatsoever by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. If you’re faced with such a predicament, you need a successful DUI and DWAI attorney.
DUI or DWAI: Which is it?
If you are pulled over and asked to blow into a Breathalyzer or take a blood or urine test, the result will determine if you can be charged for either type of impaired driving.
Did you blog above .08 BAC? You can be charged with DUI.
Did you blow between .05 and .08 BAC? You can be charged with DWAI.
This means that you can be charged with a criminal offense for driving home after virtually any amount of social drinking.
Penalties for DUI and DWAI
In Colorado penalties for both DUI and DWAI are severe. The penalties can include large fines, community service, suspension of your license, and even jail time. Obviously, penalties become more severe for subsequent offenses, but don’t fool yourself, even first-time offenders can suffer frightening consequences like jail time.
Potential DUI Penalties for a First Offense
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Between 5 and 365 days in jail
- As much as 96 hours of community service
- Twelve points on your license
- A one-year suspension of your license
- Mandatory participation in a substance abuse treatment program
Potential DWAI Penalties for a First Offense
- Fines up to $500
- From 2 to 180 days in jail
- Up to 48 hours of community service
- Eight points on your license
Do you need an attorney?
Because of the severity of the penalties for drinking and driving in Colorado, you should always consult an experienced DUI attorney. You want to avoid jail time and you need to be able to drive to work if you are to continue earning a living. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can raise many defenses to these charges, and while there is never a guarantee that you’ll get off completely unscathed, the right lawyer can protect your constitutional rights, work to minimize the negative consequences, and sometimes even get the charges dropped.
Your lawyer can require the prosecutor to show that the arrest was proper and that you were informed of your rights. The prosecution must also be able to show that the testing equipment was functioning properly and that the officer was trained and certified to operate it. These are just a few examples of areas where a good lawyer can sometimes have your charges dismissed.
For those in the area, Steven Rodemer is an experienced DUI Attorney in Colorado Springs CO. Steven is a former prosecutor who knows the workings of the court system and also understands how to navigate DMV administrative proceedings. He has an excellent record of using the law to the benefit of his clients, having charges dismissed or reduced whenever possible and obtaining the least oppressive sentences, in many cases avoiding jail time or license suspension for first offenses.
As an American, you have many constitutional rights that must be upheld. The right to counsel when facing criminal charges is among the most important of these rights. When you hire attorney Steve Rodemer, you can be confident that your rights will be protected, and you will realize the best available outcome with the least negative impact on your life and your future.