For your first DUI offense, you will likely have administrative and criminal penalties. However, what you may not realize is that, in addition to a DUI, those with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08 percent also face Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). You could technically be charged with a DWAI even if your BAC is only 0.05 percent.
Is Jail Time Associated with a First-Time Offense?
In Colorado, there is a minimum incarceration of five days, but you have the potential to be sentenced to up to one year in jail. The jail sentence may be suspended if you enroll in an alcohol treatment program.
Jail time, for most first-time offenders, is rare. If, however, you have a BAC of 0.20 percent or more, you do have mandatory jail sentencing.
Penalties for First-Time DUI
Even if you do not serve a day in jail, you may serve a night before your bond hearing. Also, you could serve several days in jail if you cannot afford bond. Some other penalties associated with a first-time DUI include:
- Mandatory minimum incarceration of two days with a max of 180 days – a possibility for a suspended sentence.
- Fines of $600 to $1,000 – not covering fines associated with other sentencing terms.
- Fines of $200 to $500 for a DWAI.
- Community service for DUI and DWAI is likely.
Administrative Penalties Affect You, Too
While you may not go to jail, you still have administrative penalties that are enforced regardless of how many days you spend in jail. Your first offense will result in a three-month suspension of your driver’s license, and 12 points are added to your license.
Convictions Carry Costs
Even if you are not sent to jail, you still have consequences to your conviction. For example, your three-month license suspension could affect your job – and possibly force you to lose your job altogether. Also, you may have difficulty obtaining employment or housing, especially if they request information about your criminal background history.
You will also have other fees associated with your DUI and DWAI conviction, such as increased insurance rates, costs of rehabilitation programs (if court-ordered), reinstatement fees, etc.
Get Legal Assistance for Your DUI
Regardless of whether or not it is your first offense, do not assume that you will not serve time in jail. If the judge feels that your offense was serious enough, he or she can sentence you to time in jail. A conviction will impact you for the rest of your life.
Avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI or DWAI conviction. Contact a Colorado DUI defense attorney now. Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. can help. As a former prosecutor, he knows the options for first-time offenders and may be able to seek a reduced charge to avoid the consequences of a DUI.
Schedule your initial consultation now by calling 719-577-9700, or request more information by completing our online contact form.