Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in all 50 states. In Colorado, the costs associated with a DUI can be significant, including financial penalties, jail time, and other consequences. Understanding these potential costs can help keep you from making a costly mistake.
The legal penalties for a DUI in Colorado are based on the number of offenses and any aggravating factors that may be present. A first-time offense typically results in a fine of up to $1,000 plus court fees, license suspension for nine months, 24 to 48 hours in jail or 48 to 96 hours of community service, and an alcohol education course. For subsequent offenses within seven years of the first conviction, the penalty increases significantly. A third DUI within seven years carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 days in jail plus fines and license suspension for two years.
In addition to legal penalties, there are also financial costs associated with a DUI conviction in Colorado. These costs include court fees, fines, attorney’s fees, increased insurance premiums and ignition interlock device installation fees (if required). The total cost can exceed $10,000 when all expenses are taken into account. That’s why it’s important to understand your rights if you are charged with a DUI and consider seeking legal help early on.
The non-financial costs of being convicted of a DUI can be even more significant than the financial ones. Depending on your occupation or field of study, having a criminal record could make it difficult or impossible to get certain jobs or further your education. Additionally, having an arrest record could impact other areas of your life such as child custody agreements or travel visas. Furthermore, if someone is injured or killed as result of drinking and driving then you could face felony charges which carry even more severe consequences including prison time.
Colorado takes DUIs very seriously and imposes strict penalties for those who choose to drive under the influence. It is important for Colorado residents to understand these potential costs before getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol so they can make informed decisions about their safety—and that of others—on the roadways. If you have been charged with a DUI in Colorado it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help protect your rights throughout the legal process so that you do not suffer needlessly from both legal and financial consequences due to one mistake made while intoxicated behind the wheel.