Although driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most common criminal offenses that individuals may face, this charge can still be highly detrimental to your future. A criminal conviction for DUI or DWAI can lead to job loss, an inability to drive, and even jail time. Enlisting the help of a Brush DUI lawyer may be the most effective means of minimizing the impact of these charges on your life.
A DUI or DWAI charge also can be expensive after paying fines, court fees, and other necessary expenses. Trusting the judgment of an experienced criminal lawyer may be vital to emerging from this situation in the most favorable manner possible.
Charges for DUI and DWAI Under State Law
Under C.R.S. § 42-4-1301, individuals who drink or use drugs and then drive can face charges for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI). Individuals commit DUI if their alcohol or drug consumption affects them to the point they are substantially incapable, physically or mentally, to exercise the judgment and control necessary to drive safely.
Individuals may also commit DUI per se when their blood alcohol content (BAC) measures .08 percent or higher within two hours of driving a vehicle. No evidence of impairment is required for a DUI per se charge; the test results, whether from a blood, breath, or urine test, is enough evidence of the offense.
On the other hand, DWAI occurs when individuals drive, and their alcohol or drug consumption has affected them, even to the slightest degree, and caused them to be less able to drive safely than they usually would. The alcohol or drugs must physically or mentally impact them in a way that alters their judgment, control, and exercise of due care. People also may face DWAI charges when their BAC measures between .05 and .08 percent.
DUI Charges for Special Classes of Drivers
DUI per se standards are even more restrictive for some drivers. For instance, drivers under the age of 21 may not drive with a BAC of .02 percent or more. A BAC test result of between .02 percent and .05 percent is a Class A traffic infraction, but a second or subsequent offense is a Class 2 traffic misdemeanor.
Likewise, commercial truck drivers are subject to a nationwide BAC limit. If they drive with a BAC of .04 percent or more, they can face DUI charges. As a DUI charge can be fatal to the career of a commercial truck driver, getting the advice of a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Brush may be wise.
DUI and DWAI Misdemeanor Penalties
First, second, and even third DUI and DWAI charges are misdemeanors. Prior convictions can include DUI, DWAI, vehicular homicide, and vehicular assault. DWAI penalties may be slightly lower than those for a DUI charge, but the charges are the same.
The maximum term of incarceration for a misdemeanor DUI or DWAI conviction is one year. For that jail time to be suspended, individuals must undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation, complete an education or treatment program, and refrain from drinking alcohol for one year from sentencing. In this situation, consulting a DUI lawyer in Brush may be wise.
Felony DUI and DWAI Penalties
Individuals with three or more previous convictions for DUI, DWAI, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault will face class 4 felony charges for a subsequent DUI or DWAI. A conviction on a felony DUI or DWAI charge can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to six years and high fines, license suspension, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
A felony DUI charge is likely to result in a much longer license suspension and potential for incarceration. These consequences can lead to job loss, an inability to return to work without transportation, and other related challenges. The overall costs of dealing with a felony DUI charge can be very expensive.
Call a Brush DUI Attorney for Guidance
Although DUI or DWAI charges are not insurmountable, they pose a challenge to avoiding license suspension, high fines, and jail time. You also may need to complete other requirements to avoid any time in jail entirely. A Brush DUI lawyer can discuss your options with you and help you determine the best defense strategy for your case.
Speaking with legal counsel may allow you to fully explore the various ways of resolving the charges against you. Together, you can develop the plan of action that will most likely benefit you and your family.