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How harmful is Colorado's persistent drunk driver designation?

Colorado drivers face significant penalties for any impaired driving charge. Whether drivers face DUI, DWAI or DUID, they risk a hefty fine and the loss of driving privileges. If the Colorado DMV designates you as a "persistent drunk driver" (PDD), though, you might face additional complications.

What does PDD actually mean?

There are several scenarios that might lead to the DMV determination of PDD, including:

  • Have you been convicted of two or more alcohol-related driving violations?
  • Was your driver's license revoked for two or more alcohol-related driving violations?
  • Did you get caught driving under an alcohol-related restraint (DUR-Alc)?
  • Did your blood alcohol content (BAC) get measured greater than .17 within two hours of driving?

Additionally, anyone who refuses to complete or is uncooperative in the completion of a blood, breath, saliva or urine test could potentially find themselves facing the PDD designation. We've written at length about Colorado's "express consent" laws, and encourage drivers to fully understand what they can and cannot do during a traffic stop.

Drivers who receive the PDD designation might face additional restrictions including successful completion of various treatment programs, the successful completion of a specified duration of ignition interlock compliance, and proof of financial responsibility.

Are chemical tests accurate?

Drivers refuse to submit to a chemical test during a DUI stop for numerous reasons. Perhaps they don't trust the accuracy of the test. Perhaps they believe the penalty for refusing the test is less severe than the penalty for failing it. The express consent laws, in essence, state that Colorado drivers have consented to participating in a blood, breath, saliva or urine test when instructed to do so. It is wise to remain respectful during a DUI stop and immediately call a skilled defense attorney for help.

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