When Should You Hire a DUI Lawyer?
Heckman & O'Connor, P.C. is Prepared to Fight For You
Ideally, you want to avoid a DUI conviction. License suspension and revocation make it difficult to get to work. If driving is required for employment, you could find that you are out of a job. In addition to losing your license and other penalties, your car insurance rates may increase significantly or you could have trouble getting car insurance.
A DUI conviction has a serious impact on your life. At Heckman & O’Connor, our Edwards DUI lawyers are knowledgeable of Colorado DUI laws and prepared to defend your case. Our law firm is intentionally small, so we are able to provide high-quality representation and personal attention that you need and deserve.
Arrested for DUI? Contact us at 970-926-5991 for a FREE consultation.
DUI Laws and Penalties in Colorado
In Colorado, the legal “per se” blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. When a driver has a 0.08% BAC or higher, a DUI conviction is possible without any other evidence of impairment. Operating a motor vehicle is considered to be consent to submit to chemical testing for alcohol, such as breathalyzer, blood, or urine testing. Failing to submit to testing can result in a revocation of driving privileges for up to one year.
The possible penalties for a DUI conviction include:
- License suspension or revocation
- Jail or prison sentences
- Mandatory alcohol education and treatment
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
The specific penalties depend on several factors, particularly for second and third offenders.
- A first offense DUI can land you in jail for up to one year, cost up to $1000 in fines, and lead to an up to 9-month license revocation
- A second offense DUI can mean up to $1500 in fines and, if the offense was committed within five years of the first, a one-year license revocation
- A third offense DUI can lead your license to be revoked indefinitely, and you can only reapply for reinstatement after 2 years
In addition, an individual may be charged with aggravated DUI for a BAC of 0.17% or higher and Colorado has a zero-tolerance law for underage DUI, meaning that a conviction is possible with a BAC of only 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21.
The Ignition Interlock Device Program
Starting in 2012, all states within the United States have instituted laws permitting the installation of Ignition Interlock Devices as an alternative to certain sentences or penalties for those convicted of a DUI. An Ignition Interlock Device is installed in a vehicle, and drivers must blow into the device to show their BAC is under the legal or specified limit before starting the car.
In Colorado, the Ignition Interlock Device can be installed in a car for first, second, and third offenders for different time periods:
- First Offenders - Up to 8 Months
- Second Offenders - 2 to 5 Years
- Third Offenders - 2 to 5 Years
Installing this device can be a helpful alternative to paying a large fine or jail time. It's best to consult with a DUI attorney to go over your options if you are convicted of a DUI offense.
Don’t wait to get the legal help you need. Call 970-926-5991 for a free consultation.