Serving People Throughout Colorado

Call Us For Free Consultation:

Colorado State law is very strict against drunk drivers. This could be the reason you should hire a skilled DUI attorney if you require the DUI defense in Colorado. Drivers arrested with a blood alcohol content level equal to or greater than 0.08 percent face various penalties. Here is what you need to know about DUI and second DUI convictions in Colorado.

Penalties (first time DUI)

The penalties for a DUI depend on the number of DUI convictions you have and your BAC. Note that a DUI is a misdemeanor offense. If you are convicted for a first-time DUI, here are the penalties you will face.

  • Five days to one year in jail
  • Monetary fine of up to $1,000
  • Alcohol education classes
  • Revocation of your driver’s license for up to nine months
  • Up to 96 hours of community service

A driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher can face a drunk driving per se charge. Even with a lower BAC, a drunk driver can face charges for DWAI (driving while impaired) based on the observations of the law enforcement officials. The penalties for a first-time DWAI conviction are lower than for a first-time DUI. They include;

  • Up to $5,000 (fines)
  • Two days to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 48 hours of community service
  • Eight points against your driving license

Each subsequent DUI conviction will harsh penalties. For instance, a second DUI will entail harsher penalties than those of your first-time conviction.

High BAC and DUI

If you have a BAC of 0.15% or higher, the law classifies you as a persistent drunk driver. This is true even if this is your first DUI offense, you will face increased penalties meant for DUI convicts with a high BAC. For example, you will be required to take level II alcohol education classes. In some cases, you may be required to install a mandatory IID (Ignition Interlock Device) for two years to get your driving license reinstated.

Are penalties for alcohol DUI similar to drug DUI?

In Colorado, the penalties for a DUI conviction are the same if the accused was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Drugs include prescription drugs and illegals drugs such as methamphetamines and heroin. Just because marijuana (recreational) is legal in Colorado doesn’t mean having a valid medical marijuana card can be a defense to DUI charges.

There’s a presumption that a vehicle driver under the influence of marijuana is only impaired if chemical test results reveal five nanograms or more of delta 9-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) per millimeter. However, a law enforcement officer can arrest you for driving while impaired, no matter the specific level of THC in your blood.

Second DUI in Colorado

The penalties for a DUI conviction (second time) include;

  • Alcohol education classes
  • Ten days to a year in jail
  • Up to $1,500 fine
  • Revocation of the accused’s driving license for a year
  • Up to four years’ probation
  • Up to 120 hours of community service

Keep in mind that jail time for a second DUI conviction is mandatory. After one’s first DUI conviction, jail time may be waived as part of the suspended sentence. This option isn’t available after a second DUI conviction. That means you will spend at least ten days in the county jail.

If you are facing DUI charges, consult with a DUI attorney. Various laws that apply to these cases are complex, and you need an expert who can fight for your rights and represent you during the necessary court processes.


Request a FREE Case Review