Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC
DUI Attorney In Parker
DUI arrests and charges can overwhelm anyone. No matter what the circumstances of your DUI case may involve, turn to Parker DUI Lawyer Lori Crystal for a strong, strategic defense and fierce advocacy going forward. With more than two decades of DUI defense experience and a tireless dedication to obtaining justice for her clients, Attorney Lori Crystal has the experience you can trust and the skills you need when it’s time to fight DUI charges.
Whether you have just been arrested or your case is already moving through the courts, you need an attorney who can stand up to prosecutors and fight to get you the best possible outcome. In Parker and Douglas County, CO, that attorney is Lori Crystal.
While you can discover more about your rights and defense options during a consultation, the following shares more about DUI charges and penalties in Colorado.
What Is the Difference Between DUI & DWAI?
DUI, driving under the influence, is generally a more serious level of charges than DWAI, driving while ability impaired. DWAI charges in Parker come into play when a motorist is accused of having a blood alcohol content (BAC) between 0.05 and 0.08. In contrast, at 0.08 and over, DUI charges would be filed.
Generally, the major difference between DUI and DWAI charges comes in first-time cases when DWAI charges can have lesser penalties. After a first conviction, prior DWAIs can be treated as prior DUIs for the purposes of subsequent charges and penalties.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI?
DUI penalties, in the event of a conviction, will depend on various factors, including (but not limited to):
- Whether the accused has priors: The more prior convictions someone has, the more severe the charges and penalties will be. In Colorado, DUI charges are elevated to the felony level after someone has three prior convictions. When DUI charges are felonies, prison time will be on the line.
- Whether the accused refused chemical testing: Refusals can result in the automatic penalty of a driver’s license suspension, even if the DUI charges are dropped or the accused is later acquitted of them.
- Whether aggravating factors were involved: This can include additional criminal charges, as well as any injuries or deaths arising from the alleged DUI.
The following table highlights the various penalties for Colorado DUIs, based on how many priors an individual has. Aggravating factors would typically result in the maximum or harsher penalties.
|DUI Offense||Criminal Charges||Incarceration||Fines||Community Service|
|Underage DWAI or DUI||Class A Traffic Infraction||None||$15 to $100||Up to 24 hrs.|
|1st DWAI||Misdemeanor||2 to 180 days in jail||$200 to $500||24 to 48 hrs.|
|1st DUI||Misdemeanor||5 days to 1 year in jail||$600 to $1,000||48 to 96 hrs.|
|2nd DWAI or DUI||Misdemeanor||10 days to 1 year in jail||$600 to $1,500||48 to 120 hrs.|
|3rd DWAI or DUI||Misdemeanor||60 days to 1 year in jail||$600 to $1,500||48 to 120 hrs.|
|4th DWAI or DUI||Class 4 Felony||2 to 6 years in prison||$2,000 to $500,000||48 to 120 hrs.|
How BAC Levels Can Affect DUI Charges in Colorado
BAC levels can impact whether DWAI or DUI charges are filed for a first-time offense. They can also impact whether someone is classified as a “persistent drunk driver” (PDD). That designation can come into play for a first DUI conviction when there is a BAC of 0.15 or higher involved. Whenever someone is deemed by the courts to be a PDD, (s)he can face more severe penalties if convicted of new or subsequent DUI charges.
Will I Lose my License?
If you refused chemical testing during the DUI stop or you are ultimately convicted of drunk driving, yes, you will lose your license. The term of the license suspension depends on whether you have prior convictions and/or prior refusals on your record.
The following table shows the terms of license suspensions, along with points added to driving records, based on how many priors an individual has. These administrative penalties are independent of the penalties handed down by the court.
|DUI Offense||License Suspension||Points Added to Driving Record|
|1st Refusal||9 Months||12|
|2nd Refusal||12 Months||12|
|3rd (or subsequent) Refusal||24 Months||12|
|Underage DUI||3 Months||4|
|1st DUI||9 Months||12|
|2nd DWAI or DUI||12 Months||8 (for a DWAI)
12 (for a DUI)
|3rd DWAI or DUI||24 Months||8 (for a DWAI)
12 (for a DUI)
If those convicted of a DUI are caught driving with a suspended license, they can be charged with violating their DUI probation, and new criminal charges can be filed against them.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
Installing IIDs on any vehicle you drive can be a term of your DUI probation once your driver’s license is reinstated. These devices essentially require you to provide a breath sample to verify that you are not drunk before they allow a vehicle to start. If the device detects alcohol in the breath sample, it will not start the vehicle, and it will report the failure to the necessary authorities.
While a first-time DUI conviction will usually come with a 6-month IID requirement, subsequent convictions will result in 2-year IID requirements. With ignition interlock devices, it’s also important to know that:
- Drivers are legally required to install these devices on any vehicles they drive.
- Drivers are responsible for covering all costs associated with installing and maintaining IIDs.
- If drivers are caught violating the IID requirement (like by trying to drive someone else’s car), they can have their IID requirement extended.
What Happens If I Have Multiple DUIs?
Multiple DUIs typically lead to more serious charges and penalties. Additionally, those who have a criminal record with DUI convictions on it may face more challenges in proving they weren’t intoxicated in a subsequent case, given the history prosecutors can point to. In these cases, it’s especially crucial to have the representation of an experienced DUI attorney like Parker DUI Lawyer Lori Crystal.
The more you know about Colorado DUI laws and charges, the better prepared you’ll be if you or a loved one is ever arrested for or accused of drunk driving in Parker, Douglas County, or anywhere in the state. In light of that, here are common questions and helpful answers about DUI charges and cases in Parker, CO.
While this information reveals more about the penalties and what to expect as DUI cases are resolved, Parker DUI Lawyer Lori Crystal is ready to provide more answers and insight related to your situation whenever you’re ready for it.
Is There Mandatory Jail Time for a DUI in Colorado?
It depends on whether the accused has prior DUIs and/or what his or her BAC was at the time of the arrest. Generally, mandatory jail time for Colorado DUIs will come into play when the accused:
- Has at least one prior conviction
- Had a BAC of 0.20 or higher for a first-time conviction
What Does “Expressed Consent” Mean?
In the context of Colorado DUIs, expressed consent refers to an implicit agreement drivers make to submit to chemical testing when they receive a driver’s license. This is important because it means that refusing to submit to chemical testing, like a breathalyzer or blood test, will be:
- A violation of the Colorado express consent law
- Met with the automatic penalty of a driver’s license suspension
How Long Does a DUI stay on Your Record in Colorado?
10 years. The points added to your driving record will drop off after 2 years.
Is Colorado a Zero-Tolerance State for Minors?
Yes. That means that anyone younger than 21 (the legal drinking age) can face criminal charges if they are caught driving with a BAC of 0.02 or greater. Although the penalties may be less severe than those for adults who are charged with a DUI, minors accused of drunk driving can still face harsh consequences.
That’s particularly true when considering these young individuals, who are just getting their lives started, can lose future education, scholarship, and career opportunities if they have a DUI conviction on their record.
Don’t Face DUI Charges Alone: An Experienced Parker DUI Attorney Is Ready to Help
Contact the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC when you or a loved one is accused of a DUI in Douglas County, CO. Our team of highly experienced, exceptionally dedicated professionals is ready to:
- Fight zealously to protect your rights while providing you with clear, helpful advice at every step as your case moves forward
- Work tirelessly to build you a strategic defense while doing everything possible to weaken the prosecutor’s case against you
- Diligently strive to bring your case to a favorable outcome so you can focus on moving on with your life
Call or email our firm for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.
Strategic and well-respected in Parker and throughout Douglas County, we are the partners you can trust what it’s time to protect what matters the most. We have extensive experience in a range of DUI cases, and we have a record of securing favorable resolutions in them. Discover the difference our team can make by contacting the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC for your consultation.