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First-Time DUI


Being charged with a DUI or DWAI in Colorado Springs can be a frightening experience for anyone. This is especially true for people who have never been in trouble before. If this is the first time you have been charged with a serious offense, it can create anxiety about the unknowns and the consequences themselves.

Some of the most common questions we receive include the following:

  • Will I go to jail?
  • Will I lose my license?
  • Will I lose my job?
  • How much is this going to cost me?

These are all valid questions and the answers depend on various circumstances in the case. Let’s examine several issues in a DUI case.

First Issue: Did you do a chemical test of your breath? Blood? Did you refuse chemical testing?
If you did a chemical test, we should review the testing procedure to validate that it was done according to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s standards. What was the result of the chemical test?

Second Issue: How high was your BAC?
Your blood alcohol content is one of the biggest factors in negotiating a favorable resolution in a DUI or DWAI case. In Colorado, the legal limit for persons 21 and above is a .051. If you are a .05 or below you have the presumption that you were not under the influence nor was your ability impaired by alcohol. A BAC of .051 to a .079 gives the State a presumption that your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired to at least the slightest degree.

Finally, a BAC of .08 or greater gives the State the presumption that you were driving under the influence of alcohol. Obviously, penalties for a first time DUI and a DWAI are different. A DUI can carry heavier fines, more jail time, more points on your driver’s license (DUI-12 points, DWAI-8 points) and more community service hours.

Third Issue: Was your BAC above .20?
If your blood alcohol level was above the limit of a .20 you will be looking at the possibility of mandatory jail time. The Colorado DUI statute requires 10 days on confinement on any DUI case with a BAC of above a .20.

Fourth Issue: DMV consequences.
In most cases, there will be a criminal case and a DMV case filed against you when you are charged with drinking and driving. Read more about DMV revocations.

The DMV hearing is regarding your privilege to drive. If you lose the hearing, you will lose your license for 30 days followed by a period of maintaining an interlock device on your vehicle. (Note: If you are an adult and your BAC was between a .051 and .079 the DMV will not file on you, but you will still have to deal with your criminal case.) If you refused chemical testing you will be facing a two-month revocation followed by two years of interlock on your vehicle.

The DMV can be very complicated, be sure to speak to an attorney about your specific case and circumstances.

Fifth Issue: Circumstantial factors
When dealing with a DUI case, there are many other factors to consider. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Was there a car accident?
  • Was anyone hurt?
  • poor driving;
  • attitude towards police officers;
  • previous driving history and or criminal history.

Every DUI case in Colorado is different, and will have various issues to be considered. If you have been charged with a DUI, DWAI or DUID (Driving under the influence of drugs) as a first offense, you should immediately speak with a DUI defense lawyer to discuss your options.

Our DUI Defense law firm offers free consultations on all Drunk Driving cases. If you have questions about how a first DUI offense can affect you, don’t hesitate to call and speak with an attorney today.