Motorists in the Centennial State may be found guilty of driving under the influence if their blood-alcohol levels reach or surpass .08 percent. The 2015 Colorado DUI penalties include considerable fines, up to a year in prison and long-term license suspensions.
As part of its “zero tolerance” policy, this state applies somewhat different rules when it prosecutes intoxicated motorists under 21. If these individuals have blood-alcohol concentrations of at least .02 percent, the authorities automatically revoke their licenses.
When they operate motor vehicles, all drivers in Colorado automatically give the police consent to perform alcohol tests. Law enforcement personnel have the right to conduct tests when they have any suspicion that someone is driving while intoxicated. If motorists refuse these tests, they lose their licenses for one to three years.
A lesser violation occurs when Coloradans over 21 “drive with ability impaired” and have .05 to .07 percent blood-alcohol levels. The initial DWAI conviction results in maximum penalties of six months in prison, eight traffic violation points, a $500 fine and community service for 48 hours.
When a person is convicted of driving under the influence for the first time, he or she must pay a fine of at least $600. The top penalty is $1,000. Prison sentences range from five to 365 days, but courts may suspend them. Community service and violation points also apply.
If a driver commits the same offense twice, it results in a jail sentence of three to 12 months. The penalties also include a fine between $1,000 and $1,500, a 12-month suspension of the offender’s license, 12 violation points and community service for as many as 120 hours.
The punishments for a third offense are similar. They consist of 70 to 365 days in jail, a 24-month license suspension, 12 points, extensive community service and up to $1,500 in fines. Ignition interlock equipment is required to reinstate a driver’s license.
The 2015 Colorado DUI penalties provide a major incentive to walk home or call a taxi after drinking. They impose particularly harsh consequences for people who repeatedly operate vehicles while they remain intoxicated. This helps to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.