If you find yourself charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) in Colorado, at least know that you are not alone. On average, about 30,000 people per year in this state are charged with it. It affects people from all walks of life. People of all ages and all demographics are affected.
There are many ways in which DUI cases are unique from one another, and as a result, it is difficult to rely on word of mouth or other non-professional sources (such as the internet) to obtain advice on what to do. It is important to immediately discuss your case with an attorney as quickly as you can.
Some of the ways in which DUIs differ from one another are: (i) Whether a blood test or a breath test (or, in some cases, a urine test) was conducted on the driver, or if the people alleged that the driver “refused” to take a test; (ii) Whether the driver submitted to the roadside sobriety tests, which are required to be voluntary; (iii) Whether the only witness to the DUI was law enforcement, or if other witnesses are available; (iv) Whether one of the many affirmative defenses are available; (v) Whether the police conduct in the DUI case can be challenged, either in their decision to stop the driver’s vehicle, or their decision to ask the driver to take a test, or their decision to arrest the driver; or (vi) the other types of evidence that is available in the case, such as video or audio, and the source of that evidence.
If you are charged with a DUI, it is important to have an attorney review the case with you and be able to review the entirety of the evidence that the district attorney has in their possession. There may be a need to get a second opinion of your alcohol test result taken by law enforcement. If there is no test, the allegation that you “refused” it may be challenged. The officers’ actions during the DUI investigation may be challenged. There are many reasons why having an attorney review your case may result in an outcome different than what you would otherwise expect.
Finally, the driver’s criminal record and the number of previous DUI convictions will greatly affect the sentence that is received, if the case ends up with a conviction. Recent changes in the law have allowed DUI charges to reach the felony level based upon prior convictions. Non-felony DUI charges can result in large amounts of jail time based upon prior convictions. Penalties usually get tougher every year. An attorney can give you guidance on what you can do to improve the outcome of your case.
If you received a DUI or DWAI charge in Colorado, contact us to set a time to discuss your case.