Driving under the influence can have tragic consequences, and the law in Colorado treats it very seriously. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is vital that you are well informed. Colorado DUI statute § 42-4-1301 C.R.S. defines DUI, its legal penalties if convicted, and the process for prosecution.
The state of Colorado defines DUI in § 42-4-1301 C.R.S. as a person driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both to a degree of impairment that makes them unable to operate an automobile safely. If there is a combination of drugs and alcohol, the statute applies.
Whether a driver demonstrates symptoms of impairment or not, if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal limit of 0.08% or higher, they will be charged with a DUI and considered legally impaired. This falls under the DUI per se law.
Colorado enforces steep penalties for DUIs in an effort to deter drivers from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The consequences for driving under the influence become steeper with each subsequent conviction. Listed below are the penalties faced in Colorado for a DUI charge:
With any DUI charge, your license may be suspended or revoked, and you may be required to use an ignition interlock device.
Drivers who are driving erratically or demonstrating signs of driving under the influence can be stopped by law enforcement, who will then administer sobriety tests. These include field sobriety tests as well as breathalyzer tests. Breathalyzer tests will determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If it exceeds the legal limit of 0.08%, then they will be taken into custody.
Upon being taken into custody, they will then be transported to the police station or hospital so that a blood test can be administered. Blood tests confirming a BAC of 0.08% or higher will then be charged with a DUI. The next step is appearing in court to face the charges mounted against them.
At trial, the prosecution will present the evidence gathered against the defendant. These might include the following:
All of the evidence they present will be to prove that the driver was driving while impaired.
The defense will typically present evidence to show that the driver was not impaired. Some typical strategies the defense might present to prove the driver should not be convicted are as follows:
Other than the legal consequences for a Colorado DUI, if convicted, there are social, economic, and other long-lasting effects. Some of the consequences you may face, aside from those under the law, are as follows:
There are many complications that drivers who have been convicted of driving under the influence face. It is crucial to have a Colorado DUI lawyer beside them to fight the life-altering charges.
Colorado DUI Statute § 42-4-1301 C.R.S. comprehensively outlines how DUIs are defined and penalized and the process for prosecuting them in Colorado. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, immediately contact a Colorado DUI lawyer from Flesch and Beck Law.
Our experienced legal team will ensure that you understand your options and that your rights are protected. We will gather evidence and implement an effective legal strategy so that we can fight tenaciously for your freedom.
We are DUI attorneys, but we hope you will be safe and never need us. It is much preferable that you have a designated driver or use a rideshare company if you plan to drink so that you arrive safely and without incident to your destination.