FAQ – Drunk Driving & Colorado DUI Laws

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What’s the difference? DUI vs. DWAI?

In short, a DWAI is charged if a person has a blood alcohol content of 0.05 – 0.08 and a DUI is charged if a person has a blood alcohol content above a 0.08 or has any amount of drugs in their system. The science says that a 0.05 BAC can be reached by just one beer depending on your size. That means that you can be charged with a criminal offense for driving home after almost any amount of social drinking.

Both a DUI and DWAI have harsh penalties and consequences against your license. A DWAI will always count as a prior offense to DUI, if someone is arrested for DUI again in their lifetime.

Possible penalties in Colorado?

Alcohol related driving offenses, like a DUI or DWAI, have severe penalties. They can include jail time, alcohol and drug treatment, suspension of your drivers license, community service, and harsh fines. Penalties become harsher for any subsequent in your lifetime as well. The way that penalties are imposed vary from county to county. That means an Aspen DUI attorney may get a different outcome from a Glenwood Springs DUI attorney, which might be different than an Eagle DUI Attorney. Knowing the judges and knowing the local DA’s is crucial in understanding the likely penalties for a DUI.

The penalties on a first offense DUI include :

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 365 days in jail
  • Between 48 and 96 hours of community service
  • Twelve points on your license
  • A one-year suspension of your license
  • Substance abuse treatment program
  • A Mothers Against Drunk Driving Class

Do you need a lawyer?

We advise to hire a DUI Defense Attorney if you are arrested or charged with DUI or DWAI because of the harsh consequences against your drivers license and the possible penalties. We will fight for you or your loved one at every stage of the DUI process, from DMV hearing to a possible trial. We help our clients navigate the DMV and possible license revocation process as well as aggressively fight their criminal charges to minimize negative consequences for them.

We are also one of the only firms that publishes our fee structure on our website. This is because we value the transparency of both what we can do for you and what that will cost.

Having an experienced DUI Defense Attorney, means also having an lawyer that knows the specific judges and prosecutors. At Kalamaya Goscha, we have dealt with DUI representation in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Vail, Steamboat Springs, and the rest of Colorado for years. We know the judges, we know the prosecutors, we are able to use our experience and expertise to predict what might happen in a certain courthouse or in front of a certain judge. These are just a few examples of how a good DUI Defense Attorney and we a Kalamaya Goscha can help represent you.

Science behind a DUI?

The science that goes into a DUI investigation is extensive. Whether it be from the breathalyzer used on a breath test, to a blood draw, to voluntary roadside maneuvers, a DUI investigation is about producing data about the driver to prove their level of intoxication. The data is then interpreted by prosecutors and potential prosecutor experts. This data, whether it be a blood or breath alcohol content or marks on a standardized roadside test, needs to be analyzed by an experienced DUI attorney to see what potential defenses, if any, are available to defend the person charged with a DUI crime. There is a huge amount of variance on the accuracy of the data depending on how the certain tests were administered, how the devices used to administer the tests are serviced, and there is a huge spectrum to how that data is interpreted. Having a lawyer who understands the nuances of the science behind DUI investigations is critical to putting forth the strongest defense against a DUI charge.