Colorado has created a special category of DUI offender, classified as a “persistent drunk driver” (PDD). In 1998, Colorado lawmakers passed the Persistent Drunk Driver Act, which increased DUI penalties for those with repeat DUI convictions or extremely high blood alcohol concentrations at the time of an offense. In 2014, Colorado’s DUI laws changed and lowered the BAC at which a driver is classified as a persistent drunk driver from 0.17 to 0.15. The new 2014 laws also mandates that anyone who refuses to take a breath, blood, or urine test when arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence will now also be classified as a persistent drunk driver.
Penalties under the Persistent Drunk Driving Statute
The penalties for a conviction of driving under the influence with the persistent drunk driver designation can be severe, even if it is a driver’s first alcohol related driving offense. Those classified as persistent drunk drivers have to undergo drug and alcohol rehabilitation. They also need to agree to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for two years in order to regain their full, unimpeded driving privileges. Persistent drunk drivers must wait at least 30 days under the new law before applying for a probationary driver’s license with ignition interlock use.
Prior to January 1, 2014, Colorado law did not allow for those who refused BAC tests to apply for early license reinstatement; they had to go for one year without driving privileges. The new law allows drivers classified as persistent drunk drivers due to test refusal to apply for a probationary license after a 60-day suspension, as long as they agree to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles for two years.
These administrative penalties are in addition to the criminal penalties that drivers face for DUI convictions, including fines, jail time, public service, court costs, and penalty surcharges.
Persistent drunk driving defense lawyer Steven J. Pisani can assist you in understanding these new laws and how they will affect your life if you are charged as a PDD. Contact us now for a free consultation.