DUI Second Offense Penalties
A second conviction for DUI is treated extremely seriously in Colorado. A second DUI offense is a misdemeanor absent special circumstances such as a very aggravated driving history, including traffic offenses such as multiple Driving Under Revocation convictions. In those cases, you may be charged with Felony DUI.
As in first offense driving under the influence cases, the district attorney is alleging that you were substantially incapable of safely driving. The only difference between a first offense DUI and a second offense DUI is the existence of prior alcohol related driving offenses. These prior alcohol offenses count toward your prior offenses regardless of how long ago your prior offense happened, and regardless of which state it occurred in.
The penalties for driving under the influence as a second offense are significantly more severe than for a first offense. Any DUI second offense carries a mandatory 10 days in the county jail. If the prior offense was within the past 5 years, these 10 days cannot be served on In Home Detention. In some cases a judge may allow work release, but you will not be granted any good time for these 10 days in custody. If your prior driving under the influence offense was greater than 5 years ago, then the judge has the option of imposing an In Home Detention sentence. In either scenario, Colorado judges routinely impose a significantly longer sentence than the minimum mandatory 10 day required sentence. Unlike a first offense DUI, the judge is required to impose a period of probation. If you violate probation by not complying with the terms of probation, the judge has the option of sending you to jail for the balance of your sentence, even if he or she initially suspended the bulk of your jail time.