Everything You Need to Know About Colorado DUIs

Everything You Need to Know About Colorado DUIs
Photo by energepic.com: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-driving-and-drinking-174936/

Did you know that, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Colorado Crime Statistics, there were approximately 16,259 DUI cases in the state? Driving under the influence is a serious offense, and understanding the laws can help you avoid severe penalties or handle the legal system if you find yourself facing charges.

Understanding DUI laws in Colorado, from legal blood alcohol limits to the potential penalties and defenses available for you, can help you make an informed decision and contribute to the safety of the people you share the roads with. 

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense. No matter where you go in the United States, if you’re caught drunk driving, you face serious criminal and financial penalties.

Although there are plenty of similarities regarding how each state handles, charges, and deals with DUI offenses, there are still some state-by-state differences. Other states allow DUI and DWI charges to be expunged, while Florida DUI laws don’t allow this. 

This article will cover all the essential information regarding DUI laws in Colorado and the legal procedures you may come across. 

In Colorado, you must keep your blood alcohol level under the legal limit while driving. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Colorado is 0.08%. This means that if you’re operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you’re considered to be driving under the influence under Colorado law.

Understand that even if you feel fine after drinking, your BAC could still be above the legal limit. Factors such as weight, metabolism, and the type and amount of alcohol consumed can all impact your BAC. It’s best to plan and have a designated driver if you’re going to be drinking to make sure you stay within the legal limit.

Law enforcement officers in Colorado use breathalyzers and field sobriety tests to determine if a driver is above the legal limit. If you’re found to be driving with a BAC over 0.08%, you could face serious consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Stay sober or designate a driver to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Penalties for DUI Offenses

Facing a DUI offense in Colorado carries severe consequences, including fines, license suspension, and potential jail time. If convicted of a DUI for the first time, you may face fines ranging from $600 to $1,000, up to a year in jail, and a license suspension of up to 9 months.

For a second offense, the fines increase to $600-$1,500, with mandatory jail time ranging from 10 days to a year, and a license suspension of up to a year. Subsequent offenses lead to even harsher penalties, with fines ranging from $600 to $1,500, a mandatory jail time of 60 days to a year, and a license revocation for two years.

DUI convictions can impact your insurance rates, employment opportunities, and personal reputation. Seek legal counsel and understand your rights when facing DUI charges to lessen the potential consequences.

DUI Testing Procedures and Protocols

When arrested for a DUI in Colorado, you’ll likely undergo DUI testing procedures and protocols to determine your blood alcohol concentration level. Typically, law enforcement officers will conduct a breathalyzer test at the scene to measure your BAC. If the results indicate a BAC at or above the legal limit of 0.08%, you may be taken to a nearby facility for further testing.

At the facility, you may undergo blood or urine tests to confirm the initial breathalyzer results. Colorado has an express consent law, meaning that by driving in the state, you have implicitly agreed to submit to chemical testing when suspected of a DUI. Refusing to take these tests can lead to an automatic license suspension.

Impact of DUI on Driver’s License

Upon being arrested for a DUI in the state, your driver’s license will be subject to immediate administrative action. The Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will typically suspend your license, even before you go to court.

This administrative action is separate from any criminal charges you may face. The length of the suspension can vary based on factors such as your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest and any prior DUI convictions on your record.

You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle as a condition of regaining your driving privileges. Understand the specific consequences that a DUI can have on your driver’s license in Colorado to prepare yourself for the legal process ahead.

Dealing with a DUI charge in Colorado involves exploring potential defenses and legal options to protect your rights and minimize the consequences of impaired driving.

One common defense is challenging the validity of the traffic stop leading to the DUI arrest. If law enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over, the entire case could be dismissed.

Question the accuracy of field sobriety tests and breathalyzer results. Mistakes in administering these tests or issues with equipment calibration could weaken the prosecution’s case.

A skilled attorney can review the details of your arrest, assess the evidence, and determine the best course of action. They may negotiate for a plea deal, aiming for reduced charges or penalties. In some instances, attending alcohol education or treatment programs could be part of a favorable resolution.


Now that you know the ins and outs of Colorado DUIs, the legal blood alcohol limit is important to follow, and the penalties for DUI offenses can be severe. If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, explore your defenses and legal options to protect your rights. Stay informed and drive safely!