Trust the DUI Lawyers at Mastro, Barnes & Stazzone P.C.
When you call on Mastro, Barnes & Stazzone P.C., you can expect to receive help from the best DUI lawyers in all of Denver, CO. We have been defending Aurora, Greenwood Village, and Centennial residents for over 35 years. Our legal team understands that though most legal judgments fall under the categories of “guilty” and “not guilty,” real life isn’t so black and white. For example, the circumstances surrounding a DUI arrest can be much more complicated than they might seem in a courtroom. If you’ve recently been arrested on suspicion of DUI, let Denver’s premier DUI lawyers help convey your situation’s nuances to the court. Learn more about DUI laws in Colorado and how our team can help following DWI or DUI.
DUI Laws in Colorado
In Denver, CO, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. Under Colorado’s Express Consent Law, drivers must consent to chemical testing if a police officer has reasonable suspicion of DUI. Keep reading for an overview of DUI laws in Colorado:
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)
If you are caught driving with a BAC between .05% and .08%, you may be charged with a DWAI. Though this is considered less severe than a DUI, DWAI can still come with harsh penalties, such as community service, fines, and even jail time. Being affected by drugs or alcohol “in the slightest degree” while behind the wheel of a vehicle can result in a charge. Our DWAI lawyers have numerous ways to defend you against such allegations and will ensure you have a fair chance to tell your side of the incident.
Zero Tolerance Laws
Colorado has zero tolerance for underage individuals who are caught driving under the influence. Drivers under the age of 21 and have a BAC between .02% and .08% will have their licenses automatically revoked. Charges citing the zero tolerance law can be filed if the underage driver had a BAC as low as .02%, which can be as little as one drink. Furthermore, if the underage driver were to have illegal drugs in their system while stopped by police, they can be charged a DUI under the zero tolerance laws. If you are facing DWAI or DUI charges in Colorado, our legal team can assist.
DUI Fines and Penalties
DUI fines can be anywhere from $600 to $1,500, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Individuals may also face license suspensions that can last up to two years. Some people may even face up to a year in jail for driving under the influence in Colorado. Jail time on 2nd and 3rd offenses (and 1st offenses with a BAC of .20% or higher) are mandatory. Court-mandated community service and alcohol education classes can also be expected for these misdemeanors.
The Difference Between a DUI and DWI in Colorado
In Colorado, drivers pulled over with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher are typically charged with DUI, whether or not they are driving safely. Drivers pulled over with a BAC of less than .08% but at least .05% will typically be charged with DWAI. Police have sufficient grounds for arrest if they believe the individual’s ability to drive was even slightly impaired by drugs or alcohol. You can also get a DUI or DWI in Colorado if you are operating a bicycle and your BAC is above the legal limit.
We often are asked if a DUI is a felony. While DUIs don’t always incur felony charges, on June 1, 2015, Colorado instituted a felony DUI law. This law provides for the filing of felony charges for those committing an alcohol-related driving offense while having three or more prior convictions. A felony DUI carries a possible prison sentence of two to six years. Choose an attorney who has experience dealing with DUI, DWAI, and felony DUI. The DUI/DWI Lawyers in Denver at Mastro, Barnes & Stazzone P.C. can help if you have been charged with felony DUI.
When DUI or DWAI Becomes Child Abuse
Under Colorado law, driving under the influence or while impaired with a child in the car is considered child abuse. This applies to any child under 16 – not just your own child. If the child is unharmed during the incident, it is considered misdemeanor child abuse. If the child does happen to become injured or die in the wake of an individual’s DUI or DWAI, it is considered felony child abuse and the individual will likely be sent to prison. If you are facing a DUI or DWAI where a child was present, be sure to call our professional team right away for the legal help you need.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
Though marijuana is legal in Colorado, driving under the influence of marijuana is not. If you have more than five nanograms of active THC per milliliter of blood in your system, you may be charged with a DUI. It is important to note that charging someone under the influence of marijuana with a DUI is somewhat complicated, as marijuana affects different people in different ways. If you’re facing charges for driving under the influence of marijuana or another drug, it’s essential to have a skilled DUI attorney analyze your case and argue on your behalf. Since Colorado has not mandated a strict “legal limit” for marijuana at which you are considered too stoned to drive, we can use this to challenge your prosecutor in court. We will take swift action on your behalf, as the consequences of a DUI/DWAI of marijuana are the same for DUI of alcohol.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?
In Colorado, a DUI/DWAI will put a permanent blemish on your criminal record. If you are found guilty or plead guilty, you will be unable to expunge or seal the conviction from your permanent criminal or motor vehicle record. A DUI will stay on your driving record for ten years, and you have 12 points assessed against you on your Colorado DMV driving record. The points will last for two years.
The Benefits of Hiring a Skilled DUI Attorney
If you are charged with a DUI, consider setting up a meeting with our DUI attorney in Denver, CO. If there’s some doubt regarding your guilt, our DWI lawyers can get your charges dropped or reduced. For example, if you are caught with a BAC of .08% or .09%, a Denver DUI attorney from Mastro, Barnes & Stazzone may be able to get your DUI reduced to a DWAI. Our law firm has ample experience helping Colorado residents get through difficult times, and we do everything we can to help you avoid jail time. Contact us today for the legal support you need. We’ll do everything we can to get you a favorable outcome.