Were you driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel or simply impaired?
Many Colorado motorists might reasonably scratch their heads over that distinction. And they might be left even more muddled by how state law enforcers make a differentiated assessment regarding where to draw a legal line concerning the two standards, as well as by how criminal penalties are meted out.
In the end, it turns out to be just a numbers game.
Take the Colorado criminal charge of DUI, for example. Driving under the influence in the state means that a targeted motorist blew a .08 or higher on a breathalyzer. We note on our website at the experienced Denver criminal defense law firm of Shazam Kianpour & Associates that such a reading is definitive for state law enforcers. It signifies that a driver “is substantially incapable to exercise clear judgment, sufficient control or due care in the safe operation of their vehicle.”
Conversely, DWAI is a notably different charge. An online overview of Colorado’s DUI and DWAI thresholds notes that the latter is presumed “if a chemical test shows a BAC (blood alcohol content) of more than .05% but less than .08%.”
Some readers might view that a readout beneath the DWI .08% threshold might safety shield them against criminal charges.
Colorado authorities don’t see it that way. A DWAI determination means to them that a driver is still diminished and “unable to exercise judgment.”
The bottom line: A DWAI conviction can yield a number of criminal penalties in Colorado, though they won’t typically be as severe as those attached to a DWI charge.
A charged motorist might reasonably want to consult as soon as possible with a proven defense legal team, regardless of the arrest particulars that feature in his or her case. Timely consultation can enable knowledgeable attorneys to mount a thorough investigation and work diligently to secure an optimal case result.