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Colorado DWAI charge nothing to lightly shrug off for a motorist

If you are a Colorado motorist who just happens to have a fixation on acronyms in the criminal law realm (there are stranger preoccupations), this one might interest you: DWAI.

That jumble of letters stands for "driving while ability impaired." The subject matter is the focal point of a state statutory provision that both contains expansive language and mandates criminal outcomes -- sometimes notably harsh exactions -- for drivers convicted on a DWAI charge.

Many readers know the basics of a Colorado DUI charge, of course, understanding that it applies to any motorist who displays a threshold blood-alcohol content of .080 after being administered a blood or breath test by enforcement authorities.

We suspect, though, that many individuals who follow our legal blog at the Denver criminal defense firm of Shazam Kianpour & Associates, PC, are unaware that adverse outcomes can ensue for drivers whose BAC reading is below that, even appreciably so.

The aforementioned statute states that DWAI applies to motorists who are affected even "to the slightest degree."

Moreover, it contains this kicker, which can yield seriously adverse consequences to Coloradans who might have had only a single drink before taking to the road: It creates a legal presumption that any person who gets even a .05 BAC reading is impaired.

Although that may -- or might not -- lead to an encounter with the DMV in a select case, it will unquestionably require any person charged with DWAI to deal with the matter in court.

And that can bring problems, given, as we note on a page of our website discussing DWAI, its exacting penalties can be "identical in most ways to a DUI."

A proven defense attorney who routinely advocates for state motorists facing DUI and DWAI charges can provide timely and aggressive representation regarding a drinking-and-driving criminal offense, crafting a legal strategy geared toward minimizing adverse consequences to the fullest extent possible.

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