Conviction of a DUI in Denver may apply to persons driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances or controlled substances. According to Colorado law, you are in violation if you are operating a vehicle with BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08% or higher. If your BAC falls between .05% and .0799%, you may face a charge of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

Each case is unique. The penalties for DWAI and DUI in Denver are mandated based on individual circumstances, including the BAC level at time of arrest and prior offenses, although the state has set minimum and maximum penalty boundaries. Remember, also, that these Denver DUI laws may not apply to you if your rights were violated during the arrest and intake process. A skilled Denver DUI lawyer can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and help you understand how the Denver DUI laws apply to your case.

Here are some additional facts you should be aware of regarding the penalties for a DUI in Denver:

License Suspension

During a DUI arrest in Denver, the driver’s license is revoked, effective 7 days following arrest. However, you have the option to request a hearing to contest the revocation and reinstate your right to drive. But time is of the essence — you only have seven days from your arrest date to request this hearing through Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR). Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to apply for an early license reinstatement (hardship license). Ignition interlock may be required at the time of reinstatement of your license or hardship license.

DUI First Offense

First-time offenders will face administrative license restraint for a period of 30 days minimum (up to one year) with no possibility of early hardship license renewal. Fines may range from $300 to $1,000. The court can order jail time anywhere from five days to one year, and/or community service. In most cases, alcohol education classes will be required, and probation may be ordered for a period of up to one year. In some cases, time served in a residential treatment facility may replace jail time.

Second Offense in More Than Five Years:

People facing their second DUI offense, which must have occurred five years or more from the date of the prior conviction, face license revocation for 180 days to one year with no possibility of early hardship license reinstatement. Most offenders will be ordered to complete a series of alcohol education classes.

Second Offense in Less Than Five Years:

People facing their second DUI offense, where the second offense occurred within five years from the first offense, are looking at a five-year license revocation and mandatory imprisonment of a minimum of 10 days. An early hardship license reinstatement may be possible after one year, but only with recommendation from the Special Supervision Services Program. Completion of DUI education is usually required in accordance of Denver DUI laws.

These descriptions are general guidelines for what a person convicted of a DUI could receive at sentencing. Each case is different and outcomes will vary based on evidence, testimony and legal defense actions. Keep in mind that hiring a skilled DUI attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. For more information on Colorado DUI laws, please visit the official Division of Motor Vehicles site or contact an experienced Denver DUI attorney.