DUI versus DWAI in Colorado

If you’ve been involved in an incident related to your blood-alcohol level, you might need some clarification on what constitutes DUI versus a DWAI in Colorado.

DUI (driving under the influence): You have consumed alcohol or drugs, or a combination of these substances, which has rendered you substantially incapable—mentally, physically or both—to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control or due care in safely operating a vehicle.

DWAI (driving while ability impaired): Driving a motor vehicle when you have consumed alcohol or drugs, or a combination of these substances, which has rendered you to the slightest degree less able than ordinarily would have been—mentally, physically or both—to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.

Blood-alcohol content

DUI and DWAI charges are determined in part by the numbers: the relative amount of alcohol in your blood stream, or blood-alcohol content (BAC). A BAC of over .08 is considered “excessive” and puts you in the DUI category, even if you were driving normally and passed a roadside test. A BAC between .05 and .08 puts you in the DWAI range.

DUI & DWAI penalties

Consequences for driving drunk or impaired are serious in Colorado. DUI or DWAI charges often carry fines, community service and even jail time, all of which are amplified if you’ve had prior incidents. Here are some typical penalty ranges for first-time charges:

DUI:

  • Up to $1,000 fine
  • 5 to 365 days jail time
  • Up to 96 hours of community service
  • 1-year license suspension

DWAI:

  • Up to $500 fine
  • 2 to 180 days jail time
  • Up to 48 hours community service
  • License suspension & eight points

If you are facing heavy consequences due to one night of poor decision-making, Wolf Law can help. Our attorneys handle DUI and DWAI cases every day, and can help you understand and protect your rights as a citizen. For more information, call Wolf Law today at 720.231.9678.