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Denver DUI/DWAI Law Blog

This time of year, one DUI campaign follows another in Colorado

Seasoned drivers in Denver and across Colorado are seldom surprised each year around this time when they suddenly become aware of a heightened police presence on streets and highways across the state.

Summer is synonymous with lots of annually recurring themes and events, of course, the biggest of which is obviously the imminently looming 4th of July holiday and its related festivities.

How many points before you lose your license in Colorado?

As in most states, you risk losing your license if you fail to maintain a clean driving record in Colorado. In fact, points will be added to your driving record for every traffic infraction you receive — and if you get too many points, your license will be suspended.

However, it is important to remember that, in Colorado, point-related suspensions are based on age:

'Slightest degree' can mean a lot with DUI charges

The language of law is one of nuance. Readers likely know the common standard under law for supporting a charge of driving under the influence is testing indicating the suspect's blood alcohol level is .08 percent or more. For drugs, the standards are less clear, but authorities still have legal leeway to bring impaired driving charges. To understand the implications of the difference in mounting a defense, it's important to speak with an experienced attorney.

The tools that Colorado police and prosecutors have at their disposal include the statute outlawing DUI and another provision that allows them to bring a charge of driving while ability impaired, or DWAI. The letter of the two laws doesn't appear that different, but in terms of potential outcomes for charged individuals, the differences can be significant.

Penalties for texting while driving increase in Colorado

Passed by the Colorado Senate in March and the House in April, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17-027 on June 1 -- and, in doing so, dramatically increased the penalties for texting while driving in the Centennial State.

Now, any driver allegedly caught texting behind the wheel will face a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense, punishable by a fine of $300. Under previous Colorado law, texting while driving was simply a Class A traffic infraction, and violators had to pay a fine of only $50

Colorado judge on breathalyzer certification snafu: "misleading"

Colorado readers who peruse our posts with some regularity might have had a strong premonition after consideration of an entry we wrote earlier this spring regarding a botched office process relevant to the charging and conviction of alleged inebriated drivers in the state.

As we noted in our March 22 post, a state official must certify in writing that breathalyzers used in drunk-driving stops are accurate and properly calibrated.

Colorado Governor signs new, stricter felony DUI law

Passed by the House in April and the Senate in May, Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 17-1288 into law on Tuesday -- making Colorado's already strict felony DUI laws even tougher.

Specifically, this bill will modify the penalties and probation conditions for those who commit a fourth or subsequent DUI, which is already a felony under current Colorado law. One of the key provisions included in this bill is a requirement that the court order one of the following as a condition of probation (if it decides to sentence an individual to probation):

Can I still be charged with DUI even if my BAC is less than .08?

If police stop you on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), you might think that you are safe from charges if a breathalyzer test indicates your blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than .08 percent. Well, in Colorado you can still face a DUI charge even if you blow less than .08 -- in addition to other possible charges.

In fact, Colorado law states that driving under the influence simply means driving a vehicle when a person "has consumed alcohol [...] that affects the person to a degree that the person is substantially incapable [...] to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle." As you can see, this particular definition says nothing about having a BAC of .08 percent.

As always, many Coloradans feel sting of holiday DUI charges

Every year, it's the same, right?

First, state officials lead up to the extended Memorial Day holiday weekend with a campaign blitz of drinking-and-driving-related information and stated initiatives focused on potential DUI stops and attendant repercussions.

UT's alcohol driving limit lowered .05 percent -- is CO next?

Two months ago, Utah became the first state in the nation to lower the legal blood-alcohol-content (BAC) level for driving from .08 percent to .05 percent -- a controversial move to many.

While this law still hasn't actually gone into effect in Utah, it has nevertheless raise the idea that other states, including neighboring Colorado, may follow suit.