Third Offense DUI or DWAI in Colorado

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A 3rd offense DUI or DWAI in Colorado can have serious consequences including license suspension, mandatory jail time and fines. Any prior DUI (no matter when it occurred) counts as a prior for purposes of tabulating a third offense.  Driving under the influence (DUI) requires.08% blood alcohol content (BAC) while driving while ability impaired (DWAI) requires a BAC between .05% and .08% BAC or other evidence of drug or alcohol impairment.   

No Lookback; No Expungement

Colorado has no look back period. In other words even if your first DUI was 25 years ago, the judge may consider that offense in his/her minimum sentencing recommendation.  Second, there is no expungement of convictions in Colorado, and even if a record is sealed, it is available to the courts and law enforcement. The DUI law strictly prohibits expunging or sealing DUI convictions.  Third, there is no good time allowance for DUI so if you are sentenced to jail time, the entire sentence must be served.  Therefore, if you are convicted of a DUI in Colorado, it will be on your permanent record available to not only law enforcement, but potential employers as well.

In Colorado, as in most other states, there are two sets of penalties: administrative penalties through the Department of Motor Vehicle; and criminal penalties handed down through the courts.

Administrative Penalties

  • 24 months loss of license (suspension)
  • 8 points on your license for DWAI
  • 12 points on your license for DUI

Criminal Penalties

  • 60 days to one year in jail (DWAI will be on the lower end of the minimum sentence)
  • $600 to $1,500 in fines
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service

It is important to note that many judges in Colorado have begun requiring more severe jail sentences for third time offenders, usually 9 months to a year even though they are not required to do so. There are certain instances where there is an in home detention allowed by the mandatory sentencing guidelines. 

On each offense in Colorado, sentences will be enhanced if the BAC was over .15%; and more if the BAC was over .20%.  There are some programs in Colorado MOP and a new MOD offered in some counties.  These are programs for multiple offenders and are geared toward work release and education.  Some of the programs are recommended while others are actually longer than the jail sentence would have been. 

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If you have been arrested for a third DUI or a DWAI, consider consulting with an experienced DUI attorney for assistance.

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