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Do I Face Jail Time for DUI in Colorado

Schmidt Law Group > Blog > DUI arrest > Do I Face Jail Time for DUI in Colorado


Will I go to jail for a DUI; what are Colorado DUI penalties

Each DUI charge in Colorado has a statutory minimum and maximum amount of jail time for DUI.  Depending on the facts of your case, all or part of the time could be suspended.  In addition, you may apply for alternate sentencing programs such as house arrest.  Contact a local DUI attorney to determine various alternative sentencing programs.

This post seeks to provide education regarding specific jail time for DUI that you may face if convicted of a DUI in Colorado.  For a chart of other penalties for DUI convictions in Colorado, click here.

Colorado DWAI penalties – First offense jail time

In Colorado DWAI penalties can include jail time.  The range of jail time for DWAI is between a minimum of 2 days to a maximum of 180 days in county jail for a first DWAI offense.   The judge does have the discretion to suspend the jail time in exchange for successful completion of an alcohol or drug program. More than likely you spent several hours to a night in jail at the time of your arrest.  Depending on the facts and circumstances of your arrest, you may be able to avoid any additional jail time for a DWAI conviction.

Colorado DUI penalties – First offense DUI jail time

 Colorado DUI penalties mandate at least 5 days with a maximum of one year in jail for  DUI first offense if the blood alcohol content was below 0.20 at the time of driving or within two hours of an evidentiary test and there was no accident or injury.

It is possible to avoid this mandatory jail time for a first offense DUI.  The mandatory time could be suspended in exchange for completing an alcohol education program.  If you fail to complete probation successfully, a court could impose jail time at a later date, up to a maximum of one year.

Colorado DUI penalties for DUI First offense BAC over 0.20

There is a mandatory 10 days that must be imposed if on your first offense the blood alcohol level is above a 0.20.  The judge must sentence you to the minimum of 10 days in county jail.  The maximum amount of jail time for DUI that you could face is one year.  This means that you face at least 10 days and at most one year jail time for DUI with an elevated BAC.

If you qualify for an alternative sentencing program will depend upon the jurisdiction, facts of your case, and any mitigating factors.  Contact a DUI attorney for specific information regarding your case.

Colorado DUI penalties for Second Offense

Colorado DUI Laws require a mandatory 10 consecutive days in county jail for second offense DUI.  This time must be imposed which means the court has no choice but to give you at least 10 days jail time for DUI-second offense. In addition to the mandatory 10 days you could receive up to a maximum of one year in county jail.

If the second offense occurs within five (5) years of a first conviction for DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI- then DUI penalties require the time to be served in custody.  There is no good time credit.

 DUI Third Offense- Colorado DUI penalties

Colorado DUI laws require a mandatory 60 consecutive days in county jail for third DUI offense.  This is mandatory which means the court cannot suspend any part of the time.  There is no good time credit; you would most likely have to serve the entire 60 days.  In addition to the mandatory time, you could receive up to a maximum of one year in county jail.

There could be additional jail time imposed if at the time of the DUI offense you licenses was restricted or suspend or you are designated as an habitual offender.  This would be in addition to anytime received for the underlying offense and could elevate the crime to a felony.

There are many factors a judge would consider when determining how much jail time for DUI is appropriate.  Many judges would give over the mandatory minimum county jail time; but could also allow alternatives to custody, such as house arrest and /or work release.

Factors relevant to Colorado DUI penalties and jail time for DUI include:  length of time between prior DUI and current DUI, aggravating factors such as high blood alcohol content (over 0.20), accidents, injuries, and/or property damage.  There could be mitigating factors, which would reduce DUI penalties, such as good driving pattern, low blood alcohol content, and significant time between prior convictions.  A skilled DUI attorney would be able to make the strongest arguments on your behalf and provide real expectations for your jurisdiction.

Thank you for visiting our post on DUI jail time in Colorado.  For additional information, please contact us directly by clicking here or calling us at (303) 747-4686.