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How does Colorado handle driving under the influence?

Posted on December 6, 2016

Being accused of drinking and driving can make for one of your worst days in Colorado. However, just because you have been accused of driving under the influence, or DUI, does not mean you are automatically guilty. You are presumed innocent until and unless you are proved guilty in a court of law.

What happens if I am pulled over and thought to be driving under the influence?

During a traffic stop, if police believe that you show signs of impairment, they will ask you to perform a roadside test to determine your sobriety. Then, if you end up being arrested for driving under the influence, you will be placed in handcuffs and taken to jail.

Authorities will ask you for a sample of urine, saliva or blood or for a breath sample to see if you have any drug or alcohol content in your system. If you refuse to complete the chemical test, you will no longer have the privilege of driving in the state of Colorado for at least a year. This is true even if you end up not being convicted of driving under the influence.

In addition, your car might be impounded, and you will also be fingerprinted and photographed for your criminal record. Finally, you will be taken to jail or to a facility designed for alcohol detoxification until you sober up.

How can a DUI affect me?

If you are determined to have a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .08 or above behind the wheel, you can be arrested and convicted of DUI. Besides losing your freedom due to being sentenced to jail, you may end up losing your job and tarnishing your reputation. Getting another job with a DUI on your criminal record may be challenging as well.

If authorities determine that your BAC was .17 percent or greater, you will be given the label of a persistent drunk driver, or PDD, and, therefore, will be sentenced just as harshly as a person who is a repeat DUI offender. A knowledgeable attorney in Colorado can stand by your side and fight for the most personally favorable outcome for you in a case of driving under the influence while also ensuring that your relevant rights are upheld during all stages of the criminal proceedings.