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How serious are drunk driving penalties in Colorado?

Colorado ranks 18th in terms of the states with the most stringent drunk driving laws. If you're curious to know just how tough our state's laws happen to be regarding DUI convictions and punishments, take a look at the following punishments:

  • First conviction: A five-day minimum jail sentence.
  • Second conviction: A ten-day minimum jail sentence.
  • A standard DUI charge does not reach felony level until after an accused person's fourth DUI offense in his or her lifetime.
  • A DUI conviction could potentially affect you over the course of your entire life.
  • First time offenders will have an administrative license suspension for nine months to one year; repeat offenders will experience a longer license suspension period.
  • Vehicle impoundment is not mandatory; however, arresting officers have the power to impound when they feel it is warranted.
  • Ignition interlock is mandatory after the first conviction or after an arrest for refusing a breath test.
  • The mandatory period for an ignition interlock device is eight months.
  • Drivers will be subjected to elevated punishments and penalties if they blow above a .15 percentage blood alcohol content and if they refuse to blow.
  • Those convicted of DUI must endure a mandatory alcohol assessment.
  • The minimum fine for a first and second offense conviction is $600.
  • Authorities may not carry out a chemical test without a warrant or consent from the driver.
  • Roadside sobriety tests are voluntary.
  • After a drunk driving conviction, car insurance rates will increase by 34 percent.
  • Colorado has child endangerment protections related to DUI.
  • Colorado implements sobriety checkpoints.

As you can see, Colorado takes drunk driving seriously. If you're accused of this crime, you could face numerous and difficult legal consequences. Therefore, you may want to speak with a criminal defense lawyer to identify appropriate strategies you can employ during your criminal proceedings.

Source: Westword, "How Harsh Are Colorado's DUI Penalties?: The 20 Toughest States," Michael Roberts, accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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