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Colorado drunk driving offenses and their penalties

Posted on September 15, 2014 in

Unfortunately, intoxicated driving is a common offense here in Colorado, as well as in many other parts of the United States. More popularly known as drunk driving, many Coloradoans may not be aware that there are particular nuances to drunk driving laws. One in particular is that the state has two different levels of drunk driving offenses. It is in the best interest of Colorado drivers to understand such details as well as the possible penalties and other pertinent laws related to alcohol charges.

In Colorado, the two levels of drunk driving offenses are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving while one’s ability is impaired. Both offenses rely on the blood alcohol concentration of a driver. If a driver over the age of 21 has a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater, then they will be charged with DUI. For drivers younger than 21, the legal limit for BAC is 0.02 percent. Additionally, the legal limit for DWAI is set at 0.05 percent.

In terms of penalties, first time DUI offenders can face the following: a nine-month license revocation, a fine between $600 and $1,000, participation in an alcohol education course, up to 96 hours of community service and up to a year in prison. Drivers convicted of a DWAI for the first time may be asked to pay a fine of not more than $500, perform around 48 hours of community service, serve 180 days in prison and receive 8 points on their drivers license.

For younger Coloradoans below the age of 21, the state has a “Zero Tolerance” policy. If these young drivers have a BAC between 0.02 and 0.08 percent, they face an automatic license revocation. Besides the penalties, drunk drivers who cause serious injuries in a drunk driving accident may also face criminal charges.