In Colorado, it is illegal to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle if you are drinking. If the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, then the driver is driving under the influence (DUI), a serious charge. To further discourage all drinking and driving, Colorado law says that a blood alcohol content of above 0.05% but below 0.08% is considered driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
DWAI offenses are designed to eliminate even the slightest amount of impairment before getting behind the wheel of a car. While not the degree of severity as a DUI charge, a DWAI conviction carries fairly harsh punishments.
DWAI is a misdemeanor with hefty penalties. The first-time DWAI offender faces between 2 and 180 days in jail, fines of $200 to $500, eight DMV points, and 24 to 48 hours of community service. It differs from a DUI in that a DUI charge could lead to a suspended driver’s license.
Colorado wants to put an end to alcohol and drug-related accidents. So, in the state, it is illegal to drive when even slightly impaired. Colorado law does not permit a person who is even a little less mentally and physically.
In Colorado, both are serious crimes. Those with a BAC of 0.08% or higher are charged with a DUI. If the driver’s BAC is less than 0.08 but above 0.05%, they will face DWAI charges. If you find yourself charged with either impairment-related charge, contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney to advise you of your rights and ensure they are protected.
Even though there is a BAC range from 0.05 to 0.08% in which a driver could be charged with a DWAI, the driver must demonstrate impairment. Without evidence of impairment, while driving, there is no charge.
Though you have the right to refuse to take a chemical test, the penalties may be stiffer if you do so. You might face jail time, and your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. There are also fines that you would face.
A refusal will be used as evidence against you in a DWAI case. Consider the drawbacks of refusing a chemical test before you determine to go that route.
The penalties for DWAI convictions vary depending on how many times the victims have been convicted of the crime.
A Colorado class 4 felony is a violation is a charge that comes after three or more convictions for one of the following:
If you have been charged with a DWAI in the state of Colorado, it is in your best interest to contact a DWAI lawyer today to help you fight the charges you face. At Flesch and Beck Law, our DUI and DWAI attorneys are ready to review your case and help mount a defense that protects your rights and freedoms. Reach out today for a free consultation.