Alcohol Related Offenses in Colorado: Penalties for DUI and DWAI


DUI in Colorado’Colorado’s alcohol related offenses come in two levels, with both dependent on an offender’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). These two offenses include Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI) and Driving While Ability is Impaired (DWAI).

To put it simply, BAC is the amount of alcohol that can be found in your blood after drinking. Drivers older than 21 have a legal BAC limit of 0.08%, while the legal BAC limit is 0.02% for drivers below 21. The legal BAC limit for DWAI is 0.05%.

Potential Penalties for Alcohol-Related Offenses in Colorado

The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Colorado has legal right to the license of an individual arrested for DWAI or DUI, along with the other penalties that the court can impose. License suspension also includes points and fees based on the specific offense. Court penalties include the following:

  • 1st Offense – License suspension for nine months for DUI, $500 fine for DWAI and $1,000 for DUI, and jail time of 180 days for DWAI and one year for DUI.
  • 2nd Offense DWAI and DUI – One year license suspension, a fine not exceeding $1,500, and jail time not exceeding one year.
  • 3rd Offense DWAI and DUI – License suspension for two years, a fine not more than $1,500, and jail time for a year. and other legal professionals note that penalties can be increased significantly for repeated offenses. In some instances, an offender may be required to have an ignition interlock device or IID installed on their vehicle.

The Importance of Professional Legal Representation

In addition to the penalties mentioned above, a 4th alcohol-related offense arrest will be counted as a felony and can land you in state prison for at least six years, along with a costly $500,000 fine. Under Colorado law, alcohol related offenses are not simply traffic infractions, but are misdemeanors, or felonies depending on specific circumstances.

If you plead guilty to an alcohol related charge, you won’t be able to join law enforcement agencies or the military. You will also have difficulty getting jobs since you’ll have a permanent criminal record. To prevent this, you must get help from an experienced DUI attorney who’ll be able to explain DUI laws, possible defenses for your case, and your rights to make sure that you obtain the best result for your case.