DWAI In Colorado: What It Means To You
Perhaps you’ve been charged with driving while ability impaired (DWAI) in Douglas County. Is that better than driving under the influence (DUI)? Does it mean you are going to be OK? Well, the answer is a combination of positive and negative news.
DWAI in Colorado is a lesser offense when compared to a DUI. According to Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1301, “driving while ability impaired” occurs when a the driver of a motor vehicle has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to the slightest degree so that they are less able than they ordinarily would have been, 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, a driver who takes either a blood or a breath test and has between a .05 and .079 blood alcohol content (BAC) is presumed to be DWAI.
Fortunately, a driver who has a BAC of less than .08 will not have to fight their case at the DMV. The DMV only gets involved if the BAC is higher than .08, which means, barring a bad driving record or previous points on your motor vehicle record (MVR), you should be OK. But please make sure you do your due diligence. Too often our DWAI defense lawyers have heard someone say, “I am fine; I have no other points on my record.” To be sure, they’ve pulled the client’s MVR, and, sure enough, there have been several points on their record from something like that “speeding ticket last year,” which our client had forgotten about.
We are DWAI lawyers in Colorado. We take our job to protect you, your family and your Colorado driver’s license very seriously. Email us using this site’s form, or just give us a call right now at 303-578-4036. We are the beginning of the solution to your Denver DWAI case.
The Penalties Of A DUI Or DWAI
While DWAI charges usually result in less punishment than DUI charges, both of these crimes can result in similar penalties, including:
- Monetary fines
- Community service
- Driver’s license suspension
- Points added to your license
So, if the DMV doesn’t care that I got a DWAI, do I still have to fight my case in court?
Unfortunately, yes, if you get a DWAI in Boulder, Adams, Broomfield, Larimer or anywhere in Colorado. You might not have to fight it at the DMV, but you still have to fight it in criminal court. A first offense does not have a mandatory minimum sentence, but you could potentially still face between two days and six months in the county jail.
- A DWAI conviction in Colorado will still require a mandatory minimum sentence if you have a prior DUI or DWAI in your lifetime anywhere in the United States. A second DWAI charge and conviction in Arapahoe, Jefferson, Denver or any other county can result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail and a maximum sentence of up to one year in the county jail.
- A third or subsequent guilty finding on a DWAI in Colorado will result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 days in jail and up to a maximum sentence of one year in the county jail. The mandatory minimum on a third or subsequent offense may not be served via in-home detention (ankle monitor).
Because these harsh DWAI penalties are identical in most ways to a DUI, you need to fight for your freedom and hire attorneys who regularly or exclusively handle these cases.
So, it looks like DWAI cases in Colorado are just as harsh as DUI cases. Do I have a hope and a prayer?
Despite the mandatory sentences imposed under Colorado DUI and DWAI laws, there is still hope. Through our experience in handling alcohol-related driving cases for over a combined 20 years, we have found that not every district attorney and judge in Colorado handles DWAI cases equally. Some courts are willing to use discretion and “give you a break” whereas other courts may not be willing to be as flexible.
A DWAI in Arapahoe County Court may not be subject to the same sentencing policies as a DWAI in Jefferson County Court. The same applies to other Denver-area courts such as Adams County Court, Weld County Court or Denver County Court. So don’t take chances, and don’t look back on today as the day you made one bad decision turn into two bad decisions.
Contact Shazam Kianpour & Associates, P.C., Today To Get Help
Call us, lawyer up and fight your DWAI intelligently and aggressively with Colorado DWAI attorneys who know exactly how to handle your particular district attorney and courthouse. We are available to you for free consultations on your DWAI case, and we will be happy to walk you through the steps, protect your rights and fight for you every step of the way. Call us at 303-578-4036 and schedule your free consultation today.