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In order to deter drinking and driving, states often intact a range of severe penalties. Lawmakers and prosecutors have been aggressive in setting these standards and applying them, putting those accused in a position that requires a staunch defense.

In Colorado, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, often called DUI, and driving while ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs, known as DWAI, are two of most common charges. If convicted of a DUI, there are certain penalties that Colorado drivers can expect.

Colorado penalties

A DUI conviction in Colorado comes with range of different consequences, including both administrative and criminal penalties. Administrative penalties are imposed by the Colorado Department of Revenue and include the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. A first-time offender can expect a 9-month suspension and up to 12 points on their license.

Criminal penalties are imposed by the state courts and include fines, mandatory public service, and imprisonment. A first-time offender can expect to face anywhere from 5 days to 1 year in jail, though jail time might ultimately be avoidable if the driver agrees to undergo an alcohol treatment program.

A first-time offender can also expect their conviction may be costly. The fine for a drivers first DUI ranges from $600 to $1000. On top of that, the offender may be required to pay court costs, and a range of different surcharges designed to combat the negative affects of drinking and driving. Lastly, a first-time offender will likely be required to complete anywhere from 48 to 96 hours of public service.

The prospective penalties will ultimately vary depending on the charge and circumstances. A DUI will be treated differently than a DWAI, and the penalties become more severe with each subsequent offence and conviction. Whether the driver allegedly caused an accident or injured someone may also affect the proposed charges. This is why it can be so important to put forth a strong defense – to ensure the prosecutors don’t over step their bounds and prove every necessary element of their case.

It may also be possible to reduce the penalties through a plea deal. Therefore, a driver facing such charges will want to consider all the different options to combating the allegations and protecting one’s rights.