What happens if you are arrested for DUI in Colorado?

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Colorado, there is a lot on the line. An impaired driving conviction could mean that you lose your job, pay hefty fines, lose your driver’s license, and probably serve jail time. The conviction could hinder other future opportunities like find a new job or applying for housing. When handling with high stakes like losing your driver’s license or potential incarceration, it is recommended to work with an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney. Here is what’s likely to happen if you have been arrested for DUI in Colorado.

Take a breath, urine or blood test

If a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances, you will be requested to take a blood or breathalyzer test. In case your BAC (blood alcohol content) is 0.08% or higher, you will face DUI charges. However, if your blood alcohol content is between 0.05% and 0.08%, you will be charged with DWAI – driving while ability impaired. The law allows the law enforcement to confiscate your driver’s license and charge you with a DUI if you refuse to take either breathalyzer or blood test.

You’ll receive a court date

Once the officer has sufficient evidence that you were driving under the influence, you will be charged with either a DUI or DWAI and get a court to summon. The prosecution will present evidence that you were driving while drunk during court proceedings. You can either plead guilty or innocent.

Suspension of your driving license

Whether or not your license was confiscated when an officer asked you to pull over, it will still be suspended. In Colorado, the suspension of your driver’s license majorly depends on several factors such as previous DUI crimes, BAC, refusal to take a blood, urine, or breathalyzer test, and more.

Pay fines

The amount of fine to be paid will be assessed depending on your case. Generally, first-time DUI defendants are required to pay up to $1000, and if you are convicted of DWAI, you could pay fine of up to $500. The amount of fine may increase with extra offenses.

Jail time

Whether or not you will go to jail depends on the circumstances of your DUI case and probably the judge ruling over it. In most cases, first-time DUI offenders might face a maximum of one year in jail. On the other hand, a first-time DWAI offender may spend a maximum of 180 days in jail.


In Colorado, probation for DWAI or DUI can be unsupervised or supervised. Sometimes, the court may require the offender to serve probation instead of going to jail. Whether you serve probation in addition to jail time or instead of jail time majorly depends on the circumstances of your case.

Submit to an alcohol evaluation

During the alcohol evaluation process, a trained counselor will ask you different questions about your drinking habits. The primary objective will be to determine if you are battling with addiction. Besides, the court may order you to attend alcohol classes and therapy.

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