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Fort Collins DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer
At Bruno Lilly Legal, PLLC, our Fort Collins DUI/DWI defense lawyer has the professional skills and legal expertise that you can rely on. A conviction for drunk driving or drugged driving could cost your license and even your freedom.
It is crucial that you know what to do to protect your best interests. Professional representation can make a difference. To arrange a fully private case review with an experienced Fort Collins criminal defense attorney, please contact us today.
Drunk Driving Charges in Colorado: Explained
Drunk driving is a criminal offense in Colorado. It is unlawful to operate any motor vehicle on a public road in Fort Collins or elsewhere in Larimer County while under the influence of alcohol.
In our state, the maximum allowable legal limit is 0.08 (C.R.S. 42-4-1301). If your BAC exceeds the legal limit, you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
In Colorado, a drunk driver could also be arrested and charged with the crime of driving while ability impaired (DWAI), with a blood alcohol concentration that is between 0.05 and 0.08. A DWAI for drunk driving is a charge that must be taken seriously. Similar to DUI charges, a DWAI for alcohol can result in fines, suspension of your license, and even jail time.
Exception: The maximum allowable BAC limit is lower in certain circumstances in Colorado. A CDL driver who is in a commercial vehicle is subject to a BAC limit of 0.04. For underage drivers—meaning those who are not yet 21 years of age—the BAC limit is just 0.02.
Drugged Driving Charges in Colorado: Explained
Colorado’s DUI/DWAI laws also apply to drugged driving. Drugged driving charges in Colorado are becoming increasingly common as law enforcement cracks down on impaired driving. If a driver is suspected of being under the influence of drugs, they may be subject to a sobriety test, which can include field sobriety tests, blood tests, or urine tests. If the results of these tests indicate that the driver was impaired, they can be charged with drugged driving. In Colorado, drugged driving is considered a criminal offense, and those convicted can face severe penalties. These can include fines, imprisonment, community service, and the revocation of their driver’s license.
What are the Penalties for an Intoxicated Driving Charge in Fort Collins?
Were you or a family member arrested and charged with a DUI or DWAI in Larimer County? It is imperative that you understand your risk of criminal liability. Even though most intoxicated driving charges are misdemeanor offenses, they can still carry serious penalties. In Colorado, the penalties associated with drunk driving or drugged driving offenses depend on several factors—with the most important being the driver’s previous history of DUI/DWAI offenses (or lack thereof). Here is a detailed overview of the penalties for a DUI/DWAI in Fort Collins:
- First-Time DUI: A fine of $600 to $1,000, a 9-month license revocation, and 5 days to one year in jail. The jail term could potentially be suspended by the court.
- First-Time DWAI: A fine of $200 to $500, no license revocation, and 2 days to 180 days in jail. The jail term could potentially be suspended by the court.
- Second-Time DUI/DWAI: A fine of $600 to $1,500, one-year license revocation, and 10 days or one year in jail. If two DUI/DWAI offenses occurred within a five-year period, the offender must serve at least 10 days consecutively in jail (or the court may grant home detention).
- Third-Time DUI/DWAI: A fine of $600 to $1,500, a two-year license revocation, and 60 days to one year in jail. For a third-time DUI/DWAI conviction, at least 60 days must be served in jail consecutively. The court cannot suspend the sentence, but it may grant a form of work release or supervised community release.
Drivers Can Face Other Unfavorable Consequences
Drivers who have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Fort Collins, CO can face a variety of unfavorable consequences that go beyond the criminal penalties. One of the most obvious consequences is the loss of their driver’s license, which can be a significant inconvenience and limit their ability to travel and carry out daily activities, including issues with employment at professions requiring a valid driver’s license.
The consequences of a DUI can also extend to other areas of life, including their ability to obtain student loans, be accepted into college, or get a job. Loan applications for a car or home may also be affected by having a criminal record. In addition, having a DUI on one’s record will almost certainly lead to a sharp spike in auto insurance rates. These adverse consequences matter. A Fort Collins DUI defense lawyer can help to protect your rights and interests.
We Handle the Most Serious of DUI/DWAI Charges (Felony Offenses)
While intoxicated driving is generally a misdemeanor in Colorado, it can be a felony in some situations. Our Fort Collins criminal defense lawyer understands that a DUI/DWAI charge can be a life-altering event—especially when the charges are considered a felony offense. We are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of representation, fighting tirelessly to protect their rights and interests. Here are some of the specific circumstances in which a drunk driving or drugged driving offense could be charged as a felony in Colorado:
- Fourth-Time DUI/DWAI (or More): Under Colorado law, a person who has been convicted of a fourth offense DUI or DWAI will face a class 4 felony criminal charge. It carries serious fines, a 2-year license revocation, and 2 to 6 years in state prison.
- Vehicular Assault (DUI/DWAI Accident Causing Injury): If an intoxicated driver is involved in an accident causing an injury, they can be charged with felony vehicular assault. It is a serious criminal offense carrying up to six years in state prison.
- Vehicular Homicide (DUI/DWAI Causing Death): A DUI/DWAI accident that results in a fatality to a passenger, another motorist, or pedestrian can result in a Class 3 felony vehicular homicide charge in Colorado. A conviction carries 4 to 12 years in state prison.
DUI/DWI Charges in Fort Collins: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I Talk to Police or Prosecutors After an Arrest?
No. You should never speak to police or prosecutors after a DWI arrest in Colorado without the presence of an attorney. The reason is that anything you say can be used against you in court and can severely harm your case. The Fifth Amendment protects your right to remain silent. Always exercise your right to remain silent and seek the assistance of a Fort Collins DUI defense attorney who can protect your rights and interests.
Am I Required to Take a Field Sobriety Test?
No. While the state’s implied consent law requires drivers to consent to a post-arrest chemical test, you are not required to take a field sobriety test in Colorado. These tests are not required by law and are often deemed unreliable. The results of field sobriety tests can be influenced by various factors, including the road or weather conditions, the officer’s administration of the test, and your own physical abilities. Refusing to take a field sobriety test cannot be used against you.
Will I Lose My License for Drunk Driving/Drugged Driving in Colorado?
Your license is at serious risk if you are arrested for a DUI or DWAI. Indeed, you could face an automatic administrative suspension. Put another way, your license could be suspended/revoked before you ever have an opportunity to raise your defense in court. Protect your right to drive: Consult with a Fort Collins criminal defense lawyer right away after an arrest.
How Our Fort Collins, CO DUI/DWI Defense Attorney Can Help
An arrest is stressful, It is normal to feel frustrated, frightened, and unsure of exactly what to do next. No matter your situation, you can benefit from the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A former prosecutor, our founding attorney Havilah Louise Bruno Lilly has deep knowledge of Colorado’s criminal justice system. She is a trial-tested legal advocate who is devoted to providing personalized representation to clients. When you reach out to our law firm, you have will have a chance to consult with a Fort Collins DUI/DWAI defense attorney who can:
- Hear your story and answer questions about your rights, options, and the next steps;
- Investigate the drunk driving or drugged driving charges, gathering evidence; and
- Develop a proactive defense strategy to protect your rights and your interests.
Contact Our Fort Collins, CO Drunk Driving Defense Attorney Today
At Bruno Lilly Legal, PLLC, our Fort Collins criminal defense lawyer has extensive experience handling drunk driving charges and drug driving charges. If you or your loved one was arrested for a DUI or DWAI, we are here to help. Give us a call now or connect with us online to arrange a fully confidential, no-obligation appointment with an attorney. We handle DUI/DWAI charges throughout Larimer County, including in Fort Collins, Loveland, Wellington, and Estes Park.
People v. A. G. - Weld County
Client charged with domestic violence.
Case dismissed - January 2022
People v. S. A. - Weld County
Client charged with domestic violence.
Case dismissed - January 2022
Contact Bruno Lilly Legal today to get a case consultation. Learn more about what we can do for you.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
From our Greeley office, we provide legal representation to those in Greeley, Loveland, Windsor, Boulder, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Evans, Eaton, Brighton, Fort Lupton, Boulder County, Larimer County, Weld County, and Adams County.