There’s a lot to do in Colorado if you’re looking for fun, fresh air, and the great outdoors, but the fun will end very abruptly if you’re caught drinking and driving.
Colorado drinking and driving laws include a driving under the influence (DUI) offense and a driving while ability impaired (DWAI) offense. A DUI offense occurs when you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, and a DWAI offense occurs when you have a BAC between .05 and .08.
A first offense for both DUI and DWAI in Colorado has penalties including:
- Up to 1 year in jail for DUI and 180 days for DWAI
- Fines up to $1000 for DUI and $500 for DWAI
- 9-month license suspension for DUI, and no license suspension for DWAI
Although you will receive a 9-month license suspension for your first DUI offense in Colorado, after 1 month you have the option to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and receive a restricted driver’s license.
For a second DUI or DWAI offense in Colorado, penalties will include:
- Up to 1 year in jail for both DUI and DWAI
- $1500 in fines for both DUI and DWAI
- License suspension for 1 year for both DUI and DWAI
- An ignition interlock installation for both DUI and DWAI
Anyone who has had their license suspended for 1 year may be eligible for a restricted license before their suspension is up if they install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
Colorado doesn’t have a lookback period where a previous DUI or DWAI is no longer relevant for penalty purposes, so any DUI or DWAI charge on record will affect just how severe your penalties are.
Colorado also had a distinction for those who have a BAC of 0.17 or greater. Classified as a ‘persistent drunk driver’ these individuals are subject to DUI penalties and even first offenders will be required to use an ignition interlock device for 1 year.
It’s a great place to live and an even better place to visit, but when heading to Colorado be sure to stay safe and drive sober.