Without a doubt, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious matter. Not only can doing so lead to expensive fines, loss of driving privileges and points on your license, but it can also lead to jail time and public service requirements.
With that said, when it comes to your second, third or subsequent offenses, that is when things get more serious. In Colorado, drivers can face DWAI or DUI charges, depending on blood alcohol levels. While a DWAI charge has less severe penalties, you do not want repeat charges for either.
With both offense types, there are different levels of administrative and criminal penalties. From an administrative side, your second DWAI or DUI charge can lead to a 12-month license suspension and either 8 DWAI points or 12 DUI points on your license. For third and subsequent offenses, there is a 24-month suspension and 8 DWAI points or 12 DUI points.
Criminal penalties work differently. For a second DWAI or DUI charge, you can face 10 days to one year in jail, $600-$1500 in fines and 48-120 hours of public service. A third offense has the same penalties as the second, but jail time is a minimum of 60 days. With your fourth and subsequent offenses, you can face two to six years in prison, three years of parole and felony charges.
With these penalties in mind, the best way to avoid legal trouble when you are behind the wheel is by driving sober.