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Fighting DUI Charges in Durango
If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Colorado, you may be embarrassed and tempted to simply take your sentence. However, these convictions can have significant consequences down the road. You should enlist an experienced Durango DUI defense attorney to represent you with the tenacity and commitment that you deserve. At Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt, we have significant experience in criminal defense. We regularly defend DUI cases in Durango, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Silverton, Ourary and Ignacio; and we’re also available to travel to Telluride, Montrose, Ridgeway and Del Norte.
Penalties for DUI in Colorado
Penalties for a first DUI conviction are up to one year of jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and up to one year license revocation and or suspension. You may be required to install an interlock ignition device (IID) to be eligible for reinstatement on a restricted license. This is a device that requires you to take a Breathalyzer test every time you start your car.
A second DUI conviction is penalized more harshly. The sentence remains up to one year of jail, but the fine increases to $1,500, and your license can be revoked and or suspended for up to five years. There is a 10-day minimum jail term for a second offense, and you will have to install an IID to be eligible for reinstatement on a restricted license. A third DUI conviction is penalized with up to one year in jail, fines and penalties of up to $1,500, a license revocation and or suspension for up to five years, requiring the installation of an IID to be eligible for reinstatement on a restricted license. There is a 60-day minimum jail sentence for a third conviction and any convictions after that.
In Colorado, people who drink and drive may be penalized not only under a DUI law, but also a law that addresses Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). This makes it illegal to drive with a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) than under the DUI law. DWAI applies when your blood alcohol concentration is above a .05%, whereas the DUI law applies when somebody’s blood is found to have a concentration of at or above a .08%.
The Colorado DUI law prohibits a person from driving when they have a concentration of .08 percent or more alcohol in their blood system. This is the standard measurement used by most states for the “impaired” driver. When you first are convicted of driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or above, you are guilty of driving under the influence. The fine for your first DUI is from $300- $1,000. You can spend between five days and one year in jail with mandatory public service from 48 to 96 hours. You can also have your license suspended and or revoked for one year.
What might make one person legally drunk is not what would cause intoxication in another person. Factors such as body weight, gender, and built-up tolerance may influence how quickly you get drunk. Generally, however, it does not take many drinks to become legally drunk for purposes of driving. Colorado is an express consent state. This means that any person who drives any motor vehicle in Colorado shall be required to take and complete, and to cooperate in the taking and completing of any test or tests of the person’s breath or blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of the person’s blood or breath when so requested by a law enforcement officer having probable cause to believe that the person was driving a motor vehicle in violation of the prohibitions against DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, or UDD and or was under the age of twenty-one and drove with a blood alcohol content between .02% and .05%. If you refuse to take the test when asked by a law enforcement officer for a first time, your license can be revoked for a one-year period. Increased penalties apply to subsequent refusals.
Consult an Experienced Colorado DUI Attorney
DUIs are a specific kind of offense that can best be defended by someone with detailed knowledge and familiarity with the prosecution’s typical strategies. It is smart to consult a lawyer who has experience with these cases in Durango and surrounding areas. A knowledgeable attorney can build a strong legal case tailored to your personal circumstances. Contact the Durango criminal defense lawyers of Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt. We regularly serve La Plata County, Archuleta County, Montezuma County, and the Southern Ute Tribal Court jurisdiction, and are available to defend DUI charges anywhere in the state of Colorado using our significant experience to battle the charges against our clients. Call us today at (970) 259-4422, or complete our online form to schedule an initial discussion of your case.