January 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- What Colorado drivers should know about DUI
Colorado motorists who consume alcohol before driving may find themselves under the scrutiny of law enforcement. Once apprehended, persons suspected of DUI face administrative and criminal penalties if they are found guilty.
What police look for
Colorado State Patrol officers are trained to watch for signs that a driver may be legally impaired by alcohol or drugs. Officers are likely to pull a vehicle over if they observe any of these maneuvers:
-drifting across lanes or crowding the center line
-swerving or weaving
-braking or accelerating erratically or suddenly
-taking turns widely or abruptly
-failing to respond to traffic signals in a reasonable time
-riding the rear bumper of the car ahead
Of course, near-collisions with other vehicles or stationary objects will also draw an officer's attention. And if the driver looks drunk--glassy-eyed, maybe--or can be seen taking a drink, that's a no-brainer for the State Patrol.
Drivers suspected of DUI will be given a field sobriety test to determine their blood alcohol level. Refusing to take the test can result in the driver's license being suspended and can be used against the driver in court.
Colorado's basic DUI penalties
Colorado law provides for both administrative and criminal penalties for DUI. The Colorado Department of Revenue imposes administrative penalties, which entail driver's license suspensions or revocations. A person whose blood alcohol level is .08 or above can lose his or her driving privileges for nine months; for a second offense, the suspension is a year, and for a third offense, two years.
On top of administrative penalties, a DUI suspect can be charged with a criminal offense that will be prosecuted in the state judicial system. If the suspect is found guilty of a first offense, the court can order a fine of $600 to $1,000 and incarceration for five days up to a year. Additionally, the judge can require 48 to 96 hours of community service. The minimum jail sentence goes up to 10 days for a second conviction and 60 days for subsequent convictions. Maximum fines can reach $1,500, and maximum community service can go up to 120 hours.
Penalties may vary
Beyond the standard penalties, some adjustments can apply. The Colorado Department of Revenue can take away a driver's license for five years when a driver is convicted of a third DUI within seven years. If a driver has a blood alcohol level of .17, it can trigger his or her classification as a persistent drunk driver, which will hike up the penalties.
It is possible to strike a bargain with the prosecution to reduce criminal penalties, and agreeing to go into alcohol treatment can also bring down sentences and fines.
In order to obtain the best results when apprehended on suspicion of DUI, a motorist would be wise to contact an experienced Colorado defense attorney. An attorney can help in a number of ways. For example, an attorney can review the field sobriety testing protocol for irregularities. An attorney also can work aggressively to secure a not guilty verdict or a plea bargain to minimize jail time, public service and fines.
Article provided by Law Office of Ginger Vidrine
Visit us at http://www.gvattorney.com---
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