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A DUI in Fort Collins can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts surrounding the case. And we’re here to help reduce your charges and give you the most favorable outcome. A Fort Collins DUI defense attorney at Martin & Reed, LLC, is available to assist if you’ve been charged with DUI. You can contact us by calling (970) 573-5187 or completing our contact form to schedule your free consultation.
What Is a DUI in Fort Collins, Colorado?
DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence. Being charged with DUI can occur in several instances. However, after you’ve had three DUIs in your lifetime, when you get charged with a fourth it will be a felony, regardless of the circumstances.
Explaining the Colorado First Offense DUI Law
Even if it is your first DUI, it is still a crime to be operating a motor vehicle under the influence in Colorado. If your BAC is 0.05% but less than 0.08%, the charge is Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). If it is 0.08% or greater, it is DUI. Penalties for a first-time offense of DUI, if you are convicted, could include:
- The possibility of 5 days to 1 year in jail
- Alcohol and drug evaluation and treatment
- Probation of up to two years
- A fine between $600 and $1,000
- Public service hours between 48 and 96 hours
- License revocation of nine months
Do Alcohol DUIs and Drug DUIs Carry the Same Penalties?
It’s still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Colorado as well as under the influence of other drugs. This includes:
- Illegal street drugs like methamphetamines, heroin, and cocaine
- Mood-altering prescription drugs and painkillers
- Prescription marijuana (having a medical marijuana card does not defend you against DUI charges).
If a chemical test reveals a blood level of 5 or more nanograms of THC per milliliter, an officer may arrest you for a marijuana DUI regardless of your blood THC level.
What’s the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI?
In all states, a blood alcohol level of 0.08% means you are driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). In Colorado, a DWI does not mean Driving While Intoxicated but instead is often used in place of DWAI, Driving While Ability Impaired, or with a BAC that’s less than 0.08% but at least 0.5%. This offense is a lesser charge than a DUI.
Colorado courts consider even a small amount of alcohol to significantly impact driving ability. Therefore, driving with a blood alcohol level between 0.5% and 0.08% is a misdemeanor charge with lesser penalties than a DUI. However, a DWAI conviction still becomes a part of your criminal record. It’s important to understand that driving even after a relatively small amount of alcohol could still bring a criminal conviction.
The drinking and driving penalties for underage drinkers in Colorado are strictly enforced. Those under age 21 can face DUI charges with a blood alcohol level as low as 0.02%.
Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Fort Collins?
Colorado can be tough on DUI, which is why it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced Fort Collins DUI defense lawyer. If you are convicted of DUI, as opposed to DWAI, you will have a license revocation of nine months. A blood or breathalyzer test will typically be used to determine the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system. It is important to understand that you can refuse this test, but this may result in an automatic suspension from driving. That’s because they take this as an admission of guilt, regardless. If you refuse the test, the prosecution will use it against you in court.
Other consequences of a DUI include large fines and your insurance rates skyrocketing, or even being denied insurance altogether.
If you are charged with a felony DUI, it can have serious consequences on your life. It could result in jail time, fines, probationary periods, community service hours, and substance abuse treatment. If you’re arrested for a DUI, call Martin & Reed, LLC, immediately to schedule your free consultation with a Fort Collins DUI defense attorney and discuss your defense options.
How Martin & Reed, LLC, Fort Collins DUI Defense Attorney Can Help You
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a very serious charge. If you are charged with this offense, you need to speak with an experienced Fort Collins criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A DUI defense lawyer at Martin & Reed, LLC, can help you navigate the legal system and fight for your rights.