DUI And DUI Per Se In Colorado
DUI lawyers in Colorado are experiencing more issues than ever before with defending drinking and driving cases. That’s because the legislature is making tougher laws and tougher penalties for people who receive DUI charges and convictions. According to Colorado Revised Statute, CRS 42-4-1301, driving under the influence of alcohol in Colorado means driving a motor vehicle or vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol that affects the person to a degree that the person is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.
In Colorado, the legal limit is .08 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Drivers who either choose to take a blood or breath test and get a BAC result above .08 will be charged with driving under the influence and/or driving under the influence per se.
When you are facing a charge of driving under the influence, you are likely to be combating these charges in two separate forums (places).
I am charged with a DUI in Adams County and they are trying to take away my driver’s license. Can they do that?
The short answer is yes, the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) will try to penalize you by way of administrative proceedings and hearings. Simply put, they will try to take away your Colorado driver’s license. You should consider hiring an experienced DUI attorney to fight this administratively at the DMV with a hearing. This is called an express consent hearing. If you have a BAC in excess of .08, as a first-time offender you face a mandatory minimum license suspension of nine months.
However, CRS 42-2-126 allows for first-time offenders to apply for a restricted license after 30 days of revocation. If it is your second DUI, the driver’s license suspension penalties only increase. For example, CRS 42-2-126 states that a second-time offender will lose his or her license for one full year. For a third or subsequent offense, you are facing three years of license revocation.
Remember, DUI and DWAI convictions are considered “habitual traffic” strikes on your driving record. Three strikes in seven years and you lose your license for five whole years!
So I have dealt with my driver’s license issue but now I have to go to court. What can I expect?
The second step of your DUI defense in Jefferson County or any other Colorado jurisdiction will be combating your DUI within the criminal courts. Beginning in 2010, Colorado DUI law changed in a very big way. Offenses committed after the 2010 effective date face stiffer penalties. These stiffer mandatory penalties removed the ability for judges to use some discretion in the sentencing of multiple offenders. First-time offenders face between five days and one-year jail.
Fortunately, the five days in jail is not mandatory for a first-time offender. A second DUI conviction in Colorado results in a mandatory minimum 10 days of jail and a maximum sentence of up to one year in the county jail. A third or subsequent offense will result in a mandatory minimum 60 days jail up to a potential maximum of one year in the county jail. The mandatory minimum on a third or subsequent offense may not be served on in home detention (ankle monitor). These are serious penalties and demand serious representation. Call us today to discuss your DUI case.
I am charged with DUI in Arapahoe County, but my ticket also says DUI Per Se. What does DUI Per Se mean?
Don’t panic! Dui Per Se is not a second DUI charge, meaning that you are not looking at double the DUI punishments and penalties all of a sudden. DUI Per Se in Colorado means that not only does the officer believe that you were driving under the influence, but he also has the scientific numbers to prove it, because you gave a blood or breath test and the results came back showing that you are presumptively at or over the .08 legal limit. Hypothetically if a jury was to find you guilty of either DUI or DUI Per Se at trial, then the second DUI charge would merge into the first one and you would have one DUI conviction on your record, not two.
Regardless, DUI Per Se means that you submitted to an alcohol test, and now they are going to try to use that evidence in court to try to prove you guilty with the alcohol test that you took. This is not the time to try becoming an overnight DUI expert lawyer. Instead, just hire an expert DUI lawyer. Call us today to speak to one right now at 303-578-4036.
So I am charged with a DUI in Jefferson County, and I know I was drunk. Is my life as I know it over?
Despite the mandatory sentences imposed under Colorado DUI laws there is still hope. Not every county court is created equal. Some courts are willing to utilize discretion where other courts may not be willing to be as flexible. A DUI in Denver County Court may not be subject to the same sentencing policies as a DUI in Arapahoe County Court. The same applies to other Denver-area courts such as Adams County Court, Jefferson County Court, or even the Douglas County Court. Each different court and district attorney will approach a DUI in a different manner. Lawyer up! In other words, call us at 303-578-4036.
Free Consultations With Denver DUI Lawyers
We are a group of experienced Colorado DUI attorneys, and we will fight your DUI intelligently and aggressively. Half the battle in DUI cases is being handled in traffic court with an attorney who knows exactly how to handle your particular judge and prosecutors. Shazam Kianpour & Associates, P.C., has a vast amount of legal experience defending DUIs in every metro-area county in Colorado, including some further-reaching areas like Weld, Larimer, El Paso and Gilpin counties. Call us for a free DUI consultation today at 303-578-4036. When you need us, we are there for you!