On January 1, 2014, changes to Colorado's driving under the influence of alcohol laws went into effect.
January 28, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Changes to Colorado DUI laws for 2014
Article provided by Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C.
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Colorado has some of the strictest driving under the influence laws in the United States. On January 1, 2014, changes to Colorado's driving under the influence of alcohol laws went into effect, increasing potential DUI penalties. Colorado drivers should be aware of how the law has changed and how the penalties affect those who violate them.
Persistent drunk drivers
The changes to Colorado's DUI laws pertain to the classification of "persistent drunk driver." In 1998, Colorado lawmakers passed the Persistent Drunk Driver Act, which increased DUI penalties for those with repeat DUI convictions or extremely high blood alcohol concentrations at the time of an offense. The first change to Colorado's DUI laws lowers the BAC at which a driver is classified as a persistent drunk driver from 0.17 percent to 0.15 percent.
The second change to the law is that anyone who refuses to take a breath, blood, or urine test when arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence will now also be classified as a persistent drunk driver.
Penalties for persistent drunk drivers
The penalties for a conviction of driving under the influence with the persistent drunk driver enhancement can be severe, even if it is a driver's first DUI conviction. Those classified as persistent drunk drivers have to undergo drug and alcohol rehabilitation. They also need to agree to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for two years in order to regain their driving privileges. Persistent drunk drivers must wait 30 days under the new law before applying for a probationary driver's license with ignition interlock use.
Prior to January 1, 2014, Colorado law did not allow for those who refused BAC tests to apply for early license reinstatement; they had to go for one year without driving privileges. The new law allows drivers classified as persistent drunk drivers due to test refusal to apply for a probationary license after a 60-day suspension, as long as they agree to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles for two years.
These administrative penalties are in addition to the criminal penalties that drivers face for DUI convictions, including fines, jail time, public service, court costs, and penalty surcharges.
Seek legal assistance
Colorado lawmakers are continuingly targeting those who drive while intoxicated, tightening DUI laws and increasing penalties for those who are convicted of DUI. If you are facing DUI charges in Colorado, it is important to have the assistance of a skilled DUI defense attorney to help minimize the impact that such charges can have on your life.
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