Colorado DUI Alternative Sentencing

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The State of Colorado takes the crime of drunk driving very seriously. A look at the penalties imposed on drivers convicted of driving under the influence reflects this fact.

A first-time conviction for DUI can result in:

  • Fines and fees of up to $1500;
  • Up to one year in jail;
  • Driver’s license suspension of nine months;
  • Community service of 48 to 96 hours; and
  • Imposition of SR-22 insurance requirements.

You may also be required to attend mandatory alcohol education and treatment and have an ignition interlock device installed, at your expense, on every vehicle you own or have access to.

With every subsequent DUI conviction, the penalties imposed become more and more severe. So much so that a fourth DUI conviction is a felony in Colorado that comes with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 to 180 days.

That being said, in some cases, it may be possible to obtain alternative sentencing that can help you to avoid some of the more serious penalties that arise from a DUI conviction. It is important to keep in mind that every DUI case is different. Not all alternative sentencing options will be available under all circumstances. However, if you are facing a DUI in Colorado, it is important to have a grasp of the sentencing alternatives that may be available to you.

Types of Alternative DUI Sentences

The availability and type of an alternative DUI sentence depends on two factors:

  • The type of charges being brought against you; and
  • Whether you have previous criminal convictions.

In general, alternative sentencing will not likely be available in situations where you have multiple serious charges pending or you have an existing criminal record. It should also be noted that while alternative sentences help avoid jail time, they impose severe restrictions of their own.

Alternative DUI sentences in Colorado include:


An individual on probation must comply with certain requirements and restrictions for a specific amount of time following conviction. Alcohol probation is typically ordered as an alternative sentence in a DUI case. An individual on alcohol probation must undergo an alcohol evaluation, attend alcohol classes, perform community service, and attend a victim impact panel as a part of the sentence. The Alcohol Drug Driving Safety Unit of the Colorado Department of Probation monitors compliance with the sentencing requirements.

Work Release

If you’re sentenced to jail, it will usually have a negative impact on your job. Work release allows you to go to work each day, but return to jail when your work day is done.

House Arrest

House arrest requires a convicted individual to remain in their home during the period of their sentence. They will be allowed to leave their house to work or go to school. An electronic monitoring device monitors their compliance with the conditions of their alternative sentencing.

Multiple Offender Programs

These programs are available to individuals who have been convicted of multiple alcohol-related offenses. They require the offender to begin the program while in jail. If the course of treatment in jail is successful, the individual is then allowed to transition into house arrest or other alternative sentences.

Depending on where your DUI occurred, all, some, none, or other options may be available. An experienced Colorado DUI attorney will know the alternative sentences available to you. Take the time to contact our office today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your options.

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