If you are charged with your 3rd DUI in Colorado, you know you are in hot water but might wonder how much jail time you face. While a 3rd DUI in Colorado is generally not a felony offense, the consequences are steep.
Third-Offense DUI Penalties
The statutory penalties for a 3rd DUI in Colorado increase significantly from second offense penalties.
A third DUI conviction is punishable by the following:
- 60 days but up to one year in jail;
- A fine between $600 and $1,500;
- Alcohol education classes;
- Community service;
- Driver’s license suspension of up to two years;
- Continuous alcohol monitoring for 90 days if granted probation; and
- Installation of an ignition interlock device.
A minimum 60-day consecutive jail sentence for a third DUI conviction is mandatory. Please note that this means the judge does not have the discretion to shorten this 60-day sentence. In fact, you are likely to face at least six months in jail for a third conviction.
In addition to the mandatory minimum jail sentence, there is a minimum one-year suspended sentence. In other words, after you serve your sentence behind bars, you will be released from jail, but you will remain on probation for a year. If you violate the terms of that probation, you will likely go to jail for an additional time period.
Persistent Drunk Driver Designation and Consequences
If you have 3 DUIs in Colorado, you will be classified as a persistent drunk driver and face enhanced penalties and requirements. These include the following:
- A mandatory minimum two-year ignition interlock device installation,
- Mandatory alcohol education and treatment courses, and
- Proof of liability insurance or bond submitted as proof of financial responsibility for three years.
In Colorado, DUIs never leave your record, and each conviction leads to increased penalties.
No Lookback Period
Many states have a lookback period which means the State can only use prior convictions against you that occurred within a certain amount of time. Colorado, however, does not have a lookback period. This means that the State can count an old conviction, even as old as 30 years or more, against you as a prior DUI.
Are There Any Defenses to a Third DUI in Colorado?
We won’t sugarcoat it and say a third DUI is nothing to worry about, but a skilled DUI defense attorney will investigate every possible avenue of defense. Just because you are accused does not mean you will be convicted.
There are defenses to DUI, including the following:
- The police did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle;
- The police improperly administered field sobriety tests;
- The police did not advise you of your Miranda rights;
- The breathalyzer or blood test was defective or produced inaccurate results; or
- You suffer from a condition with symptoms that mimic intoxication (e.g., diabetes).
Remember, every DUI case is unique, and the applicable defenses will be case specific.
Hire a Boulder, Colorado DUI Defense Lawyer
It is crucial to have experienced DUI defense lawyers assess your case if you are facing a third DUI. As former prosecutors, the attorneys at The Ferrell Law Firm, PLLC, know what to look for to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s evidence and get you the best result possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.