Drinking and driving in Colorado can be a dangerous prospect for everyone involved. The best way to avoid a DUI in Denver is to avoid drinking and driving at all possible. Even so, everyone makes mistakes at one point or another. If you have incurred a DUI charge, then it’s important to hire the right Denver DUI attorney to represent you. Still, it’s also important to understand a few of the intricacies of Colorado DUI law so that you can better understand what you’re up against.
Colorado DUI Law 101
Like most other places in the United States, a DUI case means that the accused was driving under the influence of alcohol. In most cases, the arresting officer will determine the driver’s level of drunkenness by administering one or more tests designed to gauge the blood-alcohol content (BAC) in the driver’s system. These tests include:
Field sobriety tests – a series of physical and mental examinations designed to allow the officer to visually observe one’s level of drunkenness.
Breathalyzer test – a test that determines BAC from particles in one’s breath.
Blood test – a test in which blood is drawn to determine a more accurate BAC level (usually administered back at police station).
Urinalysis – a test that uses one’s urine to determine BAC levels (usually administered back at police station).
In Colorado, officers are allowed to enforce two separate penalties depending on the driver’s BAC. These two charges are DWAI (driving while ability impaired) and the standard DUI (driving under the influence. The BAC levels needed to trigger either of these charges are as follows:
DWAI – between 0.05% and 0.08% BAC
DUI – 0.08% BAC or higher
If you have a BAC level that is lower than 0.05%, then you likely will not be charged with a DWAI or DUI unless you were driving erratically. There are some instances in which police can make independent determinations about the driver’s ability to safely remain on the road.
The Value of a Denver DUI Attorney
Armed with all of this information, you may feel as if it is unimportant to ask for additional legal representation. But, DUI lawyers have the unique ability to navigate the judicial system with aplomb. They understand courtroom procedures, the full extent of the law, and other intricacies that you can only acquire through experience. They also understand how to lessen penalties or even eliminate the charges altogether.
Without a good Denver DUI attorney, you may be subjected to the full force of the Colorado judicial system and be left helpless with your DUI defense. The penalties for a single DUI offense can get you as much as:
1 year in jail
$1,000 in fines
9-month license suspension
Other court costs and fees
The penalties only increase depending on the number of times you’ve already been convicted for a DUI or DWAI. It’s certainly within your best interest to call on the power of a qualified attorney to help you win your DUI-related legal battles in Denver. No one wants to experience the full brunt of what a DUI penalty can drop on them, and it’s important to have a qualified legal professional on your team that can mitigate the damage.