DUI - 1st Offense

In Colorado, driving under the influence offenses are covered by Colorado Revised Statute section 42-4-1301. In driving under the influence cases, the district attorney is alleging that you were substantially incapable of safely driving. This is a higher standard than DWAI or driving while ability impaired, which requires that someone’s ability to drive is impaired to the slightest degree.

The penalties for driving under the influence are severe, and have a minimum of 5 days to 1 year in jail for a first offense. Despite these requirements, a judge is allowed to suspend the minimum jail term if you successfully complete probation. Most, but not all judges in Colorado will not send you to jail if you have a clean criminal record. If you violate probation by not complying with the terms of probation, the judge has the option of sending you to jail for your DUI even if he or she initially suspended all jail time.

Probation

For a first time DUI, probation can be imposed for a maximum of two years. Probation will include 48 – 96 hours of community service, a fine from $600 - $1000, alcohol education classes, and you will be required to stay out of trouble for the term of probation. You will have a designated probation officer who will require periodic meeting, and who will notify the judge if you do not comply with probation. Most judges also require the completion of a half day MADD Victim Impact Panel as a term of probation.

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Driving Under the Influence with a BAC Over .200

If you took a chemical test which resulted in a blood alcohol content of over .200, the judge is required to sentence you to at least 10 days of jail, even on a first DUI offense. This jail term is mandatory, and cannot be suspended, however the judge has the ability to sentence you to alternative sentencing such as Work Release or In Home Detention. If an alternative sentence is imposed, this would allow you to keep working and to avoid a straight jail sentence.

DMV Consequences

The vast majority of DUI cases can affect your driver’s license. If you submitted to a blood or breath test that resulted in a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, you will be facing a DMV action to revoke your license. Depending on the circumstances of your case you can face a 9 month license revocation for a first DUI offense. If you refuse to take a test, your revocation will be longer. You also will likely be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.