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The high cost of drinking and driving in Colorado

You probably know that the best way to avoid arrest for drunk driving is to avoid getting behind the wheel after you have been drinking. However, things happen. It may not have been your plan to drive, or perhaps you didn't intend to have as much to drink. Now you are facing charges that threaten to derail life as you know it.

If your blood alcohol concentration was .08 or higher, police probably charged you with DUI. However, even if your BAC was below .08, you may face consequences for "diving while ability impaired." Your BAC for that charge may go as low as .05.

Breaking down the financial damage

A drunk or impaired driving charge may carry a long list of negative consequences. Even if the court does not convict you, your reputation may suffer. You may also feel strain in your relationships and, depending on your employment, face repercussions at work. This does not even begin to account for the financial penalties. Some of the costs you may incur if convicted for a first offense DUI include:

  • Fines: up to $1,000
  • Hike in auto insurance: about $4,000
  • Ignition interlock requirement: about $2,000

You may also factor into this the cost of defense attorney fees and the price of any alcohol treatment program the court may order. Finally, you may have a significant amount to lose if you miss work because the court also sentenced you to jail time or suspended your drivers' license.

The trend in Colorado

Last year over the winter holidays alone, police arrested almost 600 drivers for DUI, including 48 in El Paso County. Police say drunk drivers in El Paso County have notoriously high BACs. In fact, the average DUI offender in this county had a BAC high enough to qualify as a "persistent drunk driver."

Persistent drunk drivers are those who meet any one of the following criteria:

  • Having a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher
  • Being charged with impaired driving more than once within a certain time period
  • Refusing a chemical test

If the court deems you a persistent drunk driver, you can expect higher fines and more serious penalties.

Tough laws and penalties need tough defense

Knowing these details probably does not make you feel any better about your situation. However, it may cause you to realize that your circumstances are too serious to leave to chance. Whether this is your first DUI charge or you are facing counts as a persistent offender, having the right attorney should benefit your outcome.

A lawyer with experience in defending against drunk driving charges understands how heavily a conviction can weigh on your future. You can be assured that your attorney will aggressively defend your rights and work to minimize the negative consequences of the charges you are facing.

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