Aggressive Defense For All DUI Charges
Being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) can happen to any person who operates a vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs. Most people are surprised to learn how little it takes to be in violation of the law and how serious and far-reaching the penalties are.
Understanding Specific Charges
“Driving under the influence” (DUI) means operating a vehicle after consuming sufficient alcohol and/or drugs such that the person is substantially incapable, either mentally, physically or both to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.
“Driving while ability impaired” (DWAI) means operating a vehicle after consuming sufficient alcohol and/or drugs such that it affects the person to the slightest degree so that the person is less able, than he or she ordinarily would have been, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.
“Driving with excessive alcohol content” (DUI Per Se) means driving with a blood or breath alcohol content of .08 or more. A variation of this charge makes it a crime for a person who is under 21 to drive at a time when his or her blood or breath alcohol content is greater than .02 but less than .05. A person can be convicted of both DUI (or DWAI) and DUI Per Se.
“Driving under the influence of drugs” (DUI-D) has the same legal consequences as driving under the influence of alcohol. This is true even for legally prescribed drugs if their use impairs the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Understanding The Many Serious Consequences
A DUI, DWAI or similar conviction in Colorado may carry significant and far-reaching penalties, some of which include:
- A permanent criminal record
- Driver’s license revocation or suspension
- Jail time
- Professional licensing issues or academic disciplinary action
- Community service
- Mandatory alcohol and/or drug treatment
- Monitored sobriety or drug testing
- Significant fines and court costs
- Dramatically increased insurance rates
Other Important Things To Know About Your DUI Case And Defense
Administrative vs. courtroom proceedings: In almost every DUI case, a driver actually has two cases to contend with. The DUI arrest results in criminal charges being filed in the county court, and it also starts an administrative proceeding against the arrested motorist’s driving privilege. This process takes place before a hearing officer at the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and is distinct from, and very different than, a courtroom hearing before a judge. In these cases, it is extremely important that you get sound legal advice immediately, even before you request the administrative hearing.
Defining driving: “Driving” may be established if a person is in actual physical control of a vehicle. The vehicle does not have to be moving or even on a public roadway. In some circumstances, a person can be charged with DUI for just sleeping in a car while intoxicated.
Consequences: The potential driver’s license consequences are much more significant for drivers less than 21 years of age. For drivers of all ages, a jail sentence is mandatory when the blood alcohol content (BAC) is .20 or greater. This is true even for first-time offenders. For second or subsequent convictions, a jail sentence is mandatory. A fourth violation is a felony offense.
Driver’s License Suspensions And Revocations
The state can revoke or suspend your privilege to drive for a number and variety of reasons. In most cases, the determination of these issues is made by a hearing officer at the DMV. This process is distinct and very different from a courtroom hearing before a judge.
In DUI cases, it is extremely important that you get sound legal advice immediately, even before you request an administrative hearing. Mark Langston has the specialized knowledge, skills and experience to represent clients in this complicated process.
Vehicular Assault And Vehicular Homicide
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs that results in death or injury to another person is a felony, punishable by a sentence to the Colorado Department of Corrections (prison). The same is true if death or injury results from an act of reckless driving.
Other Serious Driving Crimes And Traffic Violations
In addition to criminal and DUI-DWAI charges, attorney Mark Langston also defends individuals charged with a variety of Colorado state and municipal traffic offenses, including:
- Careless driving
- Reckless driving
- Habitual traffic offender charges
- Other serious traffic offenses
Work With A Lawyer Determined To Protect Your Rights And Future
One of the most common and dangerous misconceptions about Colorado DUI is that the outcome will be the same regardless of whether you hire a qualified lawyer. Please do not face this serious charge without getting reliable information about consequences and all viable defense options. Attorney Mark Langston will provide exactly that.
Highly experienced, respected Boulder DUI lawyer Mark Langston can provide the advice and representation you need in this pivotal time. To contact The Law Office of Mark T. Langston, P.C., call 303-440-0856 or send us an email now.