DUI Defense

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) 

The State of Colorado prohibits an individual from driving a vehicle when they are under influence or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. Drugs also include prescription medication. Colorado laws about DUIs and DWAIs can be very confusing and if you have been charged with one you are in jeopardy of losing your driver’s license and if convicted be required to serve jail time.

Someone can be charged with a DUI if they are driving a vehicle when they have consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both, that affects the person to a degree that the person is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more gives rise to the permissible inference of a DUI. This is also called a DUI Per Se. A person’s BAC can be measured by either a blood sample test or a certified breath test.

A DUI will be called Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUI-D) if the individual’s ability to drive has been influenced by drugs only.

Someone can be charged with a DWAI when, if even to the slightest degree, the person is less able than she ordinarily would be, either mentally or physically, or both, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.  A BAC in above 0.05 but below 0.08 gives rise to the permissible inference of a DWAI. Again this can be measured by a blood sample test or a certified breath test.

If convicted of a DUI or DWAI a person must submit to an alcohol or drug evaluation, or both and follow through with a certified treatment plan. In addition, a person will be placed on probation for a time period ranging from 12 – 36 months depending on the facts of the case. During that probation period, the person will have to remain law-abiding, not consume alcohol or drugs, complete community service, and pay fees/fines. There may be other requirements based on the facts of a case. A jail sentence may be imposed if the BAC of the individual is high or it is their second or more conviction of a DUI or DWAI.

A DUI or DWAI is considered a misdemeanor. However, if someone has been convicted of 3 prior DUIs or DWAIs, every conviction after that will be considered a felony, punishable by up to six years in prison.

Often in DUI or DWAI cases, the individual will have a hearing in front of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine if the persons driver’s license should be restricted, suspended or even revoked.

There are many possible defenses which can be successful in a DUI or DWAI case. These include challenging the law enforcement officer’s reason for the stop, the officer’s training and experience, the result or reliability of the blood or breath test…etc. If you have been charged with either a DUI or DWAI you should have an experienced attorney review the facts of your particular case and see if there is any valid defense.

Cummings & Petrone, LLC is experienced in the handling of criminal cases concerning DUIs and DWAIs and other related criminal charges. Contact them today at 970-484-2217 or schedule your free consultation.