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What is DWAI in Colorado?

For those who are apprehended for driving in Colorado while they have any alcohol in their bloodstream, the penalties can range from a light slap on the wrist to severe fines and jail time. The law makes provision for courts to levee charges against a driver even in circumstances where the driver's blood alcohol content is below the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of the traffic stop. In these cases, an individual may be charged with driving while ability impaired, a charge generally implying a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 percent.

If charged with DWAI, an individual would not face penalties as severe as those associated with a DWI. However, a DWAI is still a criminal misdemeanor, and depending on the severity of the sentencing, may entail fines, incarceration, the suspension of a driver's license and possibly up to eight points added to the offender's driving record. A DWAI will also be considered a prior offense in the event of subsequent offenses, and may increase the severity of sentencing for subsequent charges.

Specific penalties can include fines ranging from $200 to $500, incarceration ranging from two days all the way up to 180 days and up to 48 hours of community service. In addition, the offender may lose his or her driver's license and have to meet additional drug and alcohol counseling requirements.

In Colorado, an experienced attorney may be able to enter a plea bargain on behalf of the defendant, possibly resulting in a reduction of charges. The guidance of a qualified DUI attorney can prove helpful in protecting the rights of anyone facing charges of operating a vehicle while impaired.

Source: drivinglaws.org, "Colorado DUI & DWAI laws: Fines and penalties," accessed July 08, 2016

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