Common Questions about Colorado DUI Charges

Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs.

DUI charges and related driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charges are serious, and they can have life-changing impacts. The Denver DUI defense attorneys at Wolf Law have managed hundreds of DUI cases, and here we share answers to some commonly asked questions about DUIs.

If you or a loved one faces DUI charges in the greater Denver metro area, call Wolf Law at 720-479-8574 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help.

How do police detect drunk drivers?

Law enforcement officers are trained to observe certain driving behaviors that may indicate a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These include but are not limited to:

A DUI check point
Sobriety checkpoints have become a common method for detecting intoxicated drivers.
  • Weaving or swerving
  • Straddling lanes
  • Making excessively wide turns
  • Driving at night without headlights on
  • Driving well under the speed limit
  • Tailgating
  • Accelerating or braking erratically
  • Making illegal turns or unsignaled lane changes
  • Stopping in a traffic lane
  • Responding slowly to traffic signals

Sobriety checkpoints have become an increasingly common method for detecting intoxicated drivers. These checkpoints are more common over holidays and high-traffic events including:

  • New Year’s Eve/Day
  • Super Bowl Sunday
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

When an officer stops you after observing a potentially dangerous behavior or at a sobriety checkpoint, he or she may then ask you questions about whether you’ve been drinking or using other drugs, and how much you’ve consumed. The officer may also ask you to consent to a roadside sobriety test or portable breath test.

Can I refuse a field sobriety test?

Cop Suspecting a Man of Drunk Driving
You have the right to refuse roadside sobriety tests.

Yes. Your best defense in a DUI case begins the moment you’re pulled over. The officer will likely ask you questions about alcohol or drug consumption and may ask you to take a field sobriety test. You DO NOT have to provide statements about drinking or drug use, and you DO NOT have to consent to a field sobriety test or roadside breath test. Field sobriety tests are designed to give law enforcement probable cause to make an arrest, and they are highly subjective.

Do I have to take a Breathalyzer or blood test?

Colorado’s express consent law requires all licensed drivers to take a chemical test (Breathalyzer or blood) if a law enforcement officer has established probable cause for a DUI. Refusal to comply will result in an immediate suspension of your license. Additionally, there will be increased penalties at the DMV of a longer period of no driving and a longer term of interlock device requirement.

What is a DUI chemical test?

man blows into a breathalyzer
Colorado’s express consent law requires you to take a Breathalyzer or blood test if an officer establishes probable cause for a DUI.

Chemical sobriety tests are not subjective and determine a person’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) through a blood sample or a Breathalyzer test. The decision of which test to take is up to you. You do not have the right to consult with a lawyer prior to submitting to a chemical DUI test.

When should I contact a Denver DUI defense attorney?

If your blood-alcohol content registers high enough to be charged with a DUI (a BAC over .08 percent) or DWAI (a BAC between .05 and .08 percent), it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. Again, you do not have the right to talk with an attorney until you have consented to a chemical test.

How much does a DUI cost?

The national average cost of a DUI is approximately $10,000, but this number can fluctuate greatly based on several factors including geographic location and whether the driver is facing misdemeanor or felony charges. Hiring a DUI defense attorney is only a portion of that cost. Many other costs factor into it. The total cost of a DUI may be further inflated by bail costs, punitive fees, mandatory rehabilitation services, and other factors. Our attorneys can help you develop a better understanding of the associated costs during your consultation based on the unique circumstances of your case.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for drinking and driving, you need the Denver DUI defense lawyers at Wolf Law. Call 720-479-8574 for your free case evaluation today, or contact your legal defense online.