If you lost your license for driving under the influence (DUI) or another alcohol-related offense and were subsequently arrested for driving without a license in Colorado, you are facing severe criminal penalties. These penalties include mandatory jail time and an automatic extension of your driver’s license suspension or revocation. To protect your freedom and avoid the consequences of another conviction on your record, you need experienced legal representation.
Penalties for DUR-ALC in Colorado
Fines and Mandatory Jail Time for DUR-ALC
Driving on a suspended license is referred to as “driving under restraint” (DUR), and the penalties for driving under restraint for an alcohol-related offence (DUR-ALC) are harsher than the penalties for other forms of DUR. For a first offense, the penalties for DUR-ALC include 30 days to a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. For a second offense, you are facing between 90 days and two years in jail, and a possible $3,000 fine.
As we already mentioned, incarceration for DUR-ALC charges is mandatory. This means that if you are convicted of DUR-ALC, the judge is required to sentence you to at least the minimum 30 or 90-day sentence. The only exception is if you can prove that you were forced to drive as a result of an emergency. You can also fight for in-home detention or other alternative sentencing, but probation and suspended sentences for DUR-ALC are prohibited by law (C.R.S. Section 42-2-138(D)(I)). To avoid jail time, you will need an experienced attorney who knows the law and how to defend your case in court.
Other Consequences of a DUR-ALC
In addition to fines and jail time, individuals convicted of DUR-ALC face court fees, surcharges, and a habitual traffic offender strike on their record. Importantly, DUI and driving while ability impaired (DWAI) are both habitual traffic offenses as well (C.R.S. Section 42-2-202(2)(a)(I)). This means that your DUR-ALC will be at least your second strike. Three strikes in seven years can lead to aggravated misdemeanor charges for certain other traffic-related offenses (C.R.S. 42-4-406).
Was Your Driving Restraint Alcohol-Related?
Colorado law specifies six different alcohol-related driving restraints that can lead to a DUR-ALC. All of these are treated equally under the law. You can be charged with DUR-ALC if your license has been suspended or revoked as a result of:
- Accumulation of points for any alcohol-related offenses (C.R.S. 42-2-126)
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- DUI per se
- Driving while ability impaired (DWAI)
- Underage drinking and driving (UDD)
- An out-of-state alcohol-related criminal offense
“DUI per se” refers to a conviction based solely on your blood alcohol content (BAC) being 0.08 or greater. While DUI and DWAI charges require proof that your consumption of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both, impaired your ability to drive (in the case of a DUI, rendering you “substantially incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely”), you can be convicted of DUI per se regardless of whether your BAC had any impact on your ability to safely operate a vehicle. A DUR-ALC is similar in that driving on a restrained license can put you behind bars regardless of whether you were driving safely at the time of your arrest. In fact, it is common for driver’s to be pulled over as a result of the police officer running their license plates and seeing that the registered owner of the vehicle is under restraint. So simply being extra careful while driving will not prevent you from being charged with driving under restraint if your privilege to drive in Colorado is revoked.
Contact Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer Jay Tiftickjian Today
At Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C., we provide experienced, aggressive legal representation for individuals charged with DUR-ALC in Colorado. If you are serious about protecting your future and doing everything possible to keep yourself out of jail, call us at (303) 384-5280 or contact us online now.