DUI Penalties: Understanding the Consequences

Driving under the influence (DUI), even as a first offense, is considered by Colorado law to be a serious offense that carries significant penalties. If convicted, you may face one or more of the following consequences:

  1. Incarceration: DUI offenses can lead to jail time, with a maximum sentence of up to one year. In felony DUI cases, a prison term of two years or more may be imposed.
  2. Monetary Fines: The court may impose fines ranging from $200 to $5,000, depending on the circumstances of your case.
  3. License Suspension/Revocation: A DUI conviction often results in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. The duration of the suspension or revocation varies based on an individual driver’s driving history but the resulting restrictions on a person’s license can range from several months to a year or longer.
  4. Vehicle Impoundment: Your vehicle may be impounded as a result of a DUI arrest, temporarily restricting your access to it.
  5. Probation: In many instances, individuals convicted of DUI may be placed on probation, which involves regular check-ins with a probation officer and adherence to certain conditions set by the court.
  6. House Arrest: Instead of incarceration, in some cases an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea arrangement for house arrest, where you are confined to your residence except for specific permitted activities such as work, medical appointments and alcohol classes.
  7. Ignition Interlock Device: You may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device prevents the vehicle from starting until the driver passes a breathalyzer test, ensuring sobriety while driving.
  8. Participation in Programs: The court may order participation in a victim impact program or a drug/alcohol abuse treatment/prevention program, aiming to address the underlying issues related to the offense.
  9. Community Service: Courts may require you to perform a specified number of hours of community service as a form of punishment.

It is important to note that penalties can become more severe if your blood-alcohol level significantly exceeds the legal limit, if there were injuries or fatalities involved, or if you have any prior DUI convictions.

Furthermore, refusing to take a breath test or a blood test can lead to the revocation of your driver’s license, irrespective of the DUI charge’s outcome in court.

Understanding the potential consequences of a DUI offense highlights the importance of seeking competent legal representation. Contact us today to protect your rights and explore all available options for your defense.