DUI arrests and charges can be upsetting. This is especially true in light of the fact that DUI laws and penalties in Colorado continue to get increasingly harsh. There are, however, ways to fight DUI charges and achieve favorable outcomes to these cases.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, the sooner you partner with an experienced DUI attorney at Anaya-McKedy, P.C., the sooner you can be confident that you have a skilled, aggressive advocate in your corner, ready to fight for you and defend your rights at every step of your case moving forward.
Arrested for or Charged with a DUI?
Call (719) 227-0007 or Email Us for a Free, Confidential, No Obligations Consultation
We are available 24/7 to answer your questions, help you understand the two cases ahead of you and protect yours rights in both cases. We can meet you and/or a loved one at jail or our Colorado Springs office. We can also discuss your case over the phone.
After a DUI Arrest: The DMV Administrative Case & the Criminal DUI Case
The two cases that can be triggered by a DUI arrest will proceed on different timelines, independently from each, and the outcome of either case will not impact the outcome of the other. These DUI cases include the:
DMV DUI case1 – Also referred to as an “express consent” hearing or action, the DMV administrative case is a civil proceeding that only looks at your driving privileges and whether you should be able to keep them after a DUI arrest. If you do not request this hearing within seven days of your arrest, you will automatically lose your license. If you do request this hearing, you will have the opportunity to argue why you should be allowed to keep your driving privileges, and that determination will be made by a Hearing Officer from the Department of Revenue.
Criminal DUI case – The criminal case will determine whether you are guilty or not guilty of the DUI charges you face. These cases may end in a dismissal of charges, plea deals or trials. Convictions or plea deals can result in various penalties, like fines and possibly jail time.
The attorneys at Anaya McKedy, P.C. can effectively and vigorously defend you in both of these cases.
Colorado DUI Laws & Penalties
Colorado DUI laws set forth different legal limits for different types of drivers, including:
Zero tolerance for underage motorists, with a BAC as low as 0.02 typically being sufficient to trigger DUI charges.
A 0.04 BAC limit for drivers who are over 21 and who hold commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs)
A 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers who are over 21 and who hold standard drivers’ licenses.
Colorado DUI laws also set forth different penalties based on the accused person’s BAC and whether (s)he has any prior offenses.
*If a work release program is included in the sentence, the minimum required jail time is 120 days, and the maximum is 2 years.
If drivers refuse to submit to chemical testing, additional penalties can include:
A 1-year license revocation for first-time refusals
A 2-year license revocation for second-time refusals
A 3-year license revocation for third-time refusals.
With DUIs in Colorado, it’s also important to be aware that:
In some first-time DUI cases, it may be possible to work out a deal with prosecutors to plead to the lesser charges of “wet reckless.”
A previous DWAI may be counted as a DUI in a subsequent case, for the purposes of filing charges and imposing a sentence.
Aggravating factors, like accidents and injuries, can result in harsher charges and penalties.
Colorado does not have a “lookback” or “washout” period. This means that all prior DUIs will stay on your record, regardless of how long ago you got them, and they can be counted as priors for the purposes of filing new DUI charges and/or handing down a sentence.
What Jail time Could I Face For A DUI?
After being arrested for a drunk driving charge, one of the first questions people ask is, “Am I going to jail?” The honest answer is, it depends. DUI penalties, including jail time, vary according to the specific charge, the amount of alcohol in your blood and your prior record.
First-Offense Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)
Fines of $100 to $500
Jail: Two to 180 days
Mandatory public service: From 24 to 48 hours
Eight points on your DMV record
Second-Offense Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)
Fines of $300 to $1,000
Jail: From 45 days to one year
Mandatory public service: From 48 to 96 hours
License revoked for one year
First Drunk Driving Conviction (DUI)
Fines of $300 to $1,000
Jail: Five days to one year
Mandatory public service: From 48 to 96 hours
License revoked for one year
Second Drunk Driving Conviction (DUI)
Fines of $500 to $1,500
Jail: Between 90 days to one year
Mandatory public service of 60 to 120 hours
Twelve points on your driving record
If you are convicted of a second DUI or DWAI within five years of your first offense, you may be required to take an alcohol treatment program and you may be sentenced to additional jail time.
The attorneys at Anaya-McKedy, P.C. have more than 30+ years of criminal trial experience and have tried numerous DUI cases.
As former prosecutors, we have deep knowledge of the tactics and arguments prosecutors use to try to secure DUI convictions. This empowers us with the insight to anticipate what the prosecution may do and strategically structure your DUI defense. We are experienced at defending clients in all types of DUI cases, including (but not limited to):
DUIs involving accidents, injuries and/or deaths
DUIs involving alleged marijuana or other drug impairment
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) Lawyer
DUI laws are relatively straightforward. In Colorado, a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 percent or greater may result in charges of DWAI or DUI. However, lawmakers have struggled to develop laws surrounding driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in light of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. At Anaya-McKedy, P.C., we represent drivers facing charges of DUID in Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities.
Complications In DUID Cases
Marijuana stays in the body much longer than alcohol, which means a person may test positive for marijuana use days or weeks after using it even though he or she is clearly not impaired. This makes drug tests a very poor indication of whether a driver is impaired by marijuana at the time of a traffic stop. In addition, the amount of marijuana in a person’s system may vary greatly depending on his or her age, health, metabolism and frequency of marijuana use.
Given these variables, it is particularly important that you and your attorney act quickly to understand the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop and begin building your defense against DUID charges. We have successfully represented clients facing DUI and drug charges in Colorado for decades, and we know how to structure cases for success.
How to Fight DUI Charges
The details of your DUI stop and arrest can help determine the best strategies for fighting the charges you face. During an initial consultation, an attorney at Anaya-McKedy, P.C. can provide you with clear answers regarding your best defense options. In general, however, some effective ways to defend against DUI charges can include by proving things like:
Inaccuracies with the field sobriety test results due to subjective assessment, failure to properly administer the test or other factors
Inaccuracies with chemical test results due to an uncalibrated breathalyzer, mistakes at the lab or other factors
Inconsistences in the police report and/or the prosecutor’s arguments
No or questionable probable cause to make the traffic stop, request chemical testing or make the arrest
Procedural mistakes made by police, like administering chemical tests within 20 minutes of the stop and/or the driver having regurgitated or consumed something
Violations of the accused person’s rights during or after the arrest.
Colorado DUI FAQ
What happens if I refuse a breathalyzer in Colorado?
No. You will be provided with the option of a blood or breath test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). All field sobriety tests are voluntary. Politely decline to blow and the officer cannot make you participate. It is important to know that by declining to take a blood or breath test, your license will immediately be suspended for 12 months.
Can I refuse to answer the police questions during a traffic stop?
No, and you shouldn’t; always talk to a lawyer prior to talking to police officers. You should identify yourself, but utilize your right to remain silent in order to avoid further incriminating yourself.
Can I challenge the suspension of my driver’s license for a DUI in Colorado?
Yes. This is a separate hearing with the DMV and must be requested within a set amount of time. Consult with a knowledgeable defense lawyer on how to go about this.
Can I get a DUI while riding a bicycle in Colorado?
Yes. There are multiple vehicles and other non-motorized contraptions that you can obtain a drunk driving charge while operating.
What is BAC?
BAC stands for blood alcohol content. If your BAC is greater than .08, you will be charged with a DUI. It is also possible for officers to charge you with lesser crimes if you blow below a .08.
What if I have my license suspended but continue to drive?
This is a bad idea. If you get caught, you will face additional charges and even more penalties.
Will You Lose Your License After A DUI?
For many people, the driver’s license suspension is the most onerous penalty associated with a DUI charge. What’s going to happen to your license? How can you work and earn a living without being able to drive? How will you get to the grocery store? What happens if you have a commercial driver’s license and drive for a living?
A License Worth Fighting For
Driver’s license suspension is a part of nearly every DUI conviction. If you think the ability to drive is worth fighting for, it is important to choose a DUI defense attorney who knows how to protect your privilege to drive.
Protecting Your Ability To Drive
Our DUI defense lawyers will represent you at the DMV hearing that determines whether or not your license will be suspended. Often we are successful in protecting our client’s right to drive either by appealing the suspension or by obtaining a restricted license that allows you to drive to and from work or school.
Here is what you may be facing:
Refusing the test: Automatic license revocation for one year
DWAI (.05 – .08 BAC): Eight points on your license
Second DWAI: One-year license suspension
DUI (.08 or higher BAC): One-year license revocation
Second DUI: 12 points toward a license suspension
If you tested over .17 BAC, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car for at least two years after you get your license reinstated. Get in touch with an El Paso County interlock defense lawyer at our office to discuss the specifics of these types of situations.
If you take a breath test and fail or refuse, the officer will give you a seven-day license and a letter that outlines the next steps in the legal process. It is extremely important to follow these steps exactly.
Put 30+ Years of Criminal Law Experience in Your Corner: Contact an Experienced Colorado Springs DUI Lawyer at Anaya-McKedy, P.C.
Whether you have been arrested for or charged with a DUI, call (719) 227-0007 or email us to speak to a trusted Colorado Springs DUI lawyer at Anaya-McKedy, P.C. Initial consultations are free and confidential.
We are available and ready 24/7 to:
Discuss your situation
Answer your questions
Advise you of your rights, options and how to proceed
Starting defending you.
Put your case, freedom, reputation and future in the hands of our experienced lawyers. We will fight for you and work relentlessly to achieve the best possible outcome. We will also treat you with the highest level of respect and professionalism.
Whether you are facing a DWAI, a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI case, we understand that your case is likely the most important thing in your life, and we will treat it as a matter of the utmost importance.
Our extensive experience and record of success in DUI (and other criminal) cases have earned us many professional honors, 5-star reviews on Facebook and Google, and the respect of colleagues, local judges and prosecutors.