DUI First Offense

A first DUI conviction in Colorado is a misdemeanor traffic offense that could cause up to one-year in jail. While most first offenses do not result in jail without some major aggravation, it is permanent on a criminal record. A first-DUI conviction also causes a driver’s license revocation. It will also lead to a probationary sentence of up to two-years. The terms would include sobriety monitoring, no new law violations, driving restrictions, and mandatory DUI education and therapy.

A blood or breath alcohol content of .20 or more, or an accident, will usually result in jail time.

The following is a chart depicting the penalties for a first-offense DUI in Colorado.

PENALTY

MINIMUM

MAXIMUM

Jail

5 days jail

1 year jail

Fine

$600

$1000

Community Service

48 hours

96 hours

Probation

0 years

2 years

 

In addition to these penalties, a judge can order that a person maintain sobriety. In most cases abstinence is monitored with random breath or urine tests. A judge can also order that an offender attend a victim impact panel coordinated by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

With respect to the mandatory 5-day jail sentence, the judge can suspend this and instead order the offender undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation. Pursuant to the outcome of this evaluation, the judge will order attendance at alcohol and drug education classes and therapy. Failure to complete these court-ordered classes and therapy could lead to suspended jail being imposed.

Mandatory Jail for DUI with BAC 0.20 or more

If you were charged with DUI and the result of a breath test or blood test shows that you had a BAC of 0.20 or greater, then you face a mandatory jail sentence of at least ten days. Although the judge cannot suspend this jail sentence, he or she may utilize sentencing alternatives rather than require that you serve straight jail time in the county jail. Sentencing alternatives in Colorado include in-home detention, electronic home monitoring, work release, day reporting, or weekend public service work programs.

The following is a chart depicting the penalties for a first-offense DUI with BAC .20 Or More in Colorado.

PENALTY

MINIMUM

MAXIMUM

Jail

10 days jail (mandatory)

1 year jail

Fine

$600

$1000

Community Service

48 hours

96 hours

Probation

0 years

2 years

 

There are also driver’s license consequences in and even outside of Colorado. For a first-offense DUI, a 21-year or older adult is facing a nine-month driver’s license revocation for a .08 or more test result This revocation can be longer if a police officer alleges there is a refusal to take the test. If convicted, there is also an ignition interlock requirement.

A minor driver (under 21) would face a license revocation with a BAC of .02 or more.

Finally, a DUI conviction will be on one’s record forever. In Colorado, there is no way to expunge or seal a conviction for DUI. There is no timeframe for it to “drop-off” one’s driving record.

First-Offense DUI Court Process

There are usually two hearings that happen simultaneously in a first-offense DUI case. The court case involves the judge, prosecutor, and your attorney. in addition, there is the DMV hearing hat is triggered by a test refusal or excess BAC. The court case and the DMV hearing are separate and independent. What happens at one doesn’t impact or influence what happens in the other hearing. They are, however, interrelated and both must be litigated. If an adult driver took a breath test that resulted in .08 or more, or refused the test, the DMV hearing likely triggered immediately. If a person elected a blood test, the DMV hearing is dependent on the blood results.