Prior to 2015, any drunk driving offense was a misdemeanor. However, the current law makes the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while ability impaired more severe.
If convicted of DUI for the fourth time, you are likely to go to prison unless extenuating circumstances exist to consider in your defense.
About a fourth conviction
Under the current law in Colorado, a fourth conviction for either DUI or DWAI becomes a Class 4 felony that comes with a substantial fine and prison time from two to six years.
Possibility of probation
If facing a fourth DUI conviction, the court could sentence you to probation. However, as a condition of probation, you would still have to serve from 90 days to two years in prison. You will receive credit for any time you spent in custody prior to your conviction.
In addition to prison time, the court could order other probation requirements:
- 48 to 120 hours of public service
- Attendance in an alcohol and drug treatment program, or participation in driving safety education
Working toward dismissal
You may not have considered the consequences that accompany a fourth drunk driving conviction, but the state of Colorado has put a lot of thought into the penalties. If charged with a felony DUI, explore your legal options. First, you can expect a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your arrest. For example, was there sufficient cause for a law enforcement officer to stop you? Was the field sobriety test or the breath test administered properly? Was the resulting blood alcohol concentration level accurate, or did the equipment malfunction? Furthermore, do you actually have three prior DUI convictions, or were any of them dismissed? The answers to questions like these could either reduce your felony to a misdemeanor or assist in the effort to dismiss the charges.