If you are facing a second DUI in Colorado, you are likely familiar with the process but fearful of the consequences. If you are charged with a 2nd DUI in Colorado, the potential penalties increase substantially.
2nd DUI Colorado Penalties
Although a second DUI offense is still generally considered a misdemeanor, it has the potential for substantial penalties.
A second DUI in Colorado, if convicted, is punishable by the following:
- Ten days to one year in jail;
- A fine between $600 and $1,500;
- Driver’s license suspension of up to one year;
- Alcohol education classes;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device; and
- Community service.
If your first DUI conviction was within the last five years, the mandatory minimum 10-day jail sentence must be served consecutively.
What If My First DUI Conviction Was Many Years Ago?
States often have what is referred to as a “lookback period,” which refers to the amount of time a DUI charge and conviction remain on your driving record or how long that prior conviction can be used against you for sentencing purposes. In Colorado, there is no limit to the time the State can look back regarding DUIs. In other words, even if your first DUI conviction occurred decades prior, the State can still consider another charge to be a second offense. Notably, even if the DUI offense happened in another state, it can still be weighed against you.
However, if there is a substantial amount of time between the two offenses, your attorney will advocate for leniency from the judge during sentencing. This is one of the many reasons it is imperative to have experienced DUI counsel on your side when facing a second DUI in Colorado.
Persistent Drunk Driver Status
If you are convicted of a second DUI offense, you will be classified as a “persistent drunk driver.” With the designation of a persistent drunk driver, you face enhanced consequences, including:
- Mandatory installation of ignition interlock device (IID) for a minimum of two years in exchange for license reinstatement; and
- Proof of insurance coverage for at least two years.
Being labeled a persistent drunk driver is a penalty your lawyer can work to avoid.
Beating a Second DUI in Colorado
There are many potential defenses to a second DUI offense. A few examples of DUI defenses include the following:
- The officer lacked probable cause for pulling you over;
- The officer unlawfully arrested you;
- Inaccurate blood or breath test results;
- Improper administration of the field sobriety tests; or
- Rising BAC (i.e., you consumed most of the alcohol in your system just before being pulled over, causing your BAC to exceed .08% only after leaving your vehicle in response to the traffic stop).
The applicable defense in your case will depend on the circumstances surrounding your stop and arrest. A Colorado DUI attorney will help you identify your case’s most relevant and valuable defense.
2nd Offense DUI Attorneys in Colorado
A lot is at stake if you are in hot water for a second time. Don’t face a second DUI offense on your own. Contact The Ferrell Law Firm, PLLC. Our founding partner is a former district attorney who offers the unique insight and knowledge necessary to beat a second DUI offense. Contact us 24/7 for a free, confidential consultation.