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“Persistent drunk driver” label possible after only one offense

When people hear the legal designation “persistent drunk driver,” many assume it only applies to those with a history of multiple alcohol-related driving offenses. But those people would be wrong.

In fact, depending on the circumstances, an individual can be labeled as a “persistent drunk driver” after only one alcohol-related offense. For example, Colorado law will brand you as a “persistent drunk driver” if you commit either of the following offenses:

  • You refuse to participate in alcohol/chemical testing otherwise required under Colorado law, including the testing of your breath, urine, blog or saliva
  • You drive a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more, measured at the time of driving or within two hours or driving

Importantly, however, the “persistent drunk driver” designation may also apply to those with multiple offenses, including those who 1) have been convicted of or had their licenses revoked for two or more alcohol-related driving offenses, or those who 2) are caught driving after their licenses/driving privileges have already been suspended/revoked/restrained due to an alcohol-related driving offense.

Why does it matter?

Regardless of whether you have been branded a “persistent drunk driver” after a single offense or multiple offenses, the consequences are the same. So, what are they?

Simply put, anyone designated as a “persistent drunk driver” will face harsher penalties for alcohol-related driving offenses. Given these harsher consequences, it is extremely important to seek experienced guidance should you find yourself in one of the four situations outlined above.

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