In Colorado, the punishment for driving under the influence (DUI) can be quite severe, even if it is your first offense. In fact, DUI penalties for first-time offenders may include a fine, license revocation, community service, probation and the possible installation of an ignition interlock device on your car.
But the one penalty many people are really concerned about is whether they will have to spend time in jail if ultimately convicted of DUI. The answer: Yes, it is possible.
How much jail time are we talking about?
With most DUI cases, first-time offenders will face jail time of five days to one year. However, under Colorado law, a court may suspend this jail sentence if the individual:
- Undergoes an alcohol and drug evaluation AND
- Satisfactorily completes, and meets all financial obligations of, an appropriate alcohol and drug education program, as determined/required by Colorado law.
What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that jail time is possible, but that the jail sentence may be suspended in many cases — as long as the offender completes the requirements listed above.
This can quickly change, however, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if the driver registers a blood-alcohol-concentration (BAC) of .20 percent or more at the time of driving, or within two hours of driving, the possible jail sentence quickly increases to at least 10 days, but not more than one year.
In addition, while the information listed above is applicable to first-time offenders, it is also important to remember that repeat offenders will likely face more time in jail — and in some cases, a lot more time.