DUI Laws in Colorado


Don’t get caught driving drunk in The State of Colorado. Driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol drugs (DUI) or driving while your ability to drive is impaired (DWAI) by alcohol or drugs, is prohibited in Colorado. Like most DUI laws in the Unites States, The State of Colorado DUI laws are similar except for the DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) law that makes it illegal to drive with a 0.05 percent (BAC) blood alcohol concentration level; this is much lower than most states which is 0.8 percent BAC.

Colorado’s DUI enforcement laws

In order to enforce drunk driving laws in Colorado, a blood or breath test is given to determine if someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A person is presumed to be driving under the influence if the test shows a blood alcohol level of 0.08. The law presumes that permission to take a blood, breath, saliva or urine test given by the law enforcement officer who may have probable cause to administer the test. Refusal to take the test can get your driver’s license revoked.

Colorado drunk driving fines and penalties – Two types:

  1. Court imposed criminal penalties includes – Fines, imprisonment and public service.
  2. Colorado Department of Revenue penalties (administrative penalties) includes- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

Administrative and criminal penalties for driving under the influence as states in sections 42-4-1303, 42-2-125, 42-2-126 and 42-2-127, Colorado Revised Status:

DUI laws in Colorado – Administrative penalties

  • Violation – BAC test of at least 0.08
    License suspension 9 months
  • 2nd BAC test of at least 0.08
    License suspension 1 year
  • 3rd or subsequent BAC test of at least 0.08
    License suspension 2 years
  • DWAI – no license suspension – 8 points
  • 1st DUI – license suspension 9 months – 12 points
  • 2nd DUI or DWAI – license suspension 12 months –DWAI 8 points – DUI 12 points
  • 3rd DUI or DWAI – license suspension 24 months – DWAI 8 points – DUI 12 points
  • 1st under 21 drinking and driving (BAC) of at least 0.02 but less than 0.05 – 3 months for the first offense, 6 months for the second offense and 1 year for the 3rd subsequent offense -4 points

DUI laws in Colorado – Criminal penalties

  • Offense – 2ns DUI – 90 days to 1 year in jail, $1000-$1500 fine and 60-120 hours public service.
  • Offense – DUI with previous DWAI -70 days to 1 year jail time, $900-$1500 fine and 56-112 hours public service.
  • 1st under 21 drinking and driving (BAC) or at least 0.02 but less than 0.05 gets no jail time, has to pay $100 in fine and up to 24 hours of public service.

In Colorado, a driver is able to reduce his or her criminal penalties through a plea bargain or by undergoing alcohol or drug treatment, but will still have to face administrative penalties.

If alcohol or drugs are related to the cause of injury or death, the penalties for vehicular homicide or vehicular assault are more stringent.

Drink responsibly- If you plan to drink, don’t drive.

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Originally posted 2016-12-11 15:04:13.