Colorado DUI Penalties

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Lawrence Law Firm, LLC

Aurora, CO

What are the punishments for a DUI in Colorado?

The punishments for DUI’s and alcohol related driving offenses can be found at C.R.S § 42-4-1307. A DUI in the State of Colorado is considered an unclassified misdemeanor. The Colorado DUI Penalties depends on a variety of factors. The maximum possible jail sentence is 1 year and a fine from $600-$1,000. A defendant is also required to complete 48-96 hours of community service.

A first time DUI has a minimum 5 day jail sentence, but the jail can be suspended upon the successful completion of an alcohol and substance abuse class. However, a DUI involving a blood alcohol content (“BAC”) above a .20 has a mandatory 10 days of jail. In addition to jail, a defendant will also be placed on probation. The typical length of probation for a first offense is one year. The standard requirements of probation for a DUI are to complete an alcohol and substances abuse class, complete a MADD Victim Impact Panel, complete community service, and submit the monitored sobriety. A conviction for DWAI first offense can be punished by up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $500.

A second DUI or DWAI has a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 day with a maximum possible sentence of one year. The jail sentence may be served on in-home detention if the prior alcohol related driving offense is greater than five years old. A third offense carries a mandatory minimum 60 days jail sentence with a maximum of one year. The mandatory minimum 60 days are not eligible for in-home detention. Second and greater DUIs also require a mandatory two-year probation period, and the court will suspend an extra one year of jail on a defendant upon successful completion of probation.

It is important to remember that the mandatory minimum sentences are the lowest the Court can impose on a defendant. While subsequent offenses have mandatory minimum sentences, the court will look at other aggravating factors and mitigating factors to determine the appropriate sentence. It is not unusual for judges to impose jail sentences higher than the mandatory minimum.

What is a prior DUI Conviction under Colorado Law?

Colorado law will consider any priors committed in an individual’s lifetime for purposes of determining priors for sentencing consideration. This also applies to any prior DUI committed in any other State or territory in the United States of America. The age of prior offenses is a factor the Court’s will consider.

What Does Jail mean?

A defendant can typically serve a jail sentence in one of three ways. Jail can be straight time. This is the type of sentence where you are taken to jail and sit there for the ordered amount of time. Jail could also be served on work release status. This is a type of sentence where you are permitted to go to and from work, but you sleep in the county jail. Jail can also be served on in-home detention. This permits you to go to and from work and other court order obligations, but you are to remain at home at all other times.

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