Vail Attorney for Driving Under the Influence

a drink and keysIn Eagle County, if you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol,  there are several steps you must take in order to fight your charges:

  1. Contact A Vail DUI Defense Attorney. Getting a DUI charge is a matter to be taken seriously, and the sooner that you get in touch with a DUI defense lawyer, the better. With a DUI charge, there are certain legal rights that you must act upon immediately, or risk losing those rights, and an experienced DUI lawyer will know what needs to be done and when.
  2. Request A DMV Expressed Consent Hearing. Under Colorado’s Expressed Consent laws, a driver in Colorado stopped for a suspected DUI and asked to submit to a chemical test by police must choose between a blood or breath test. If the test results indicate the driver had a 0.8 BAC or higher, the driver will receive an Expressed Consent Affidavit and a Notice of Revocation of their license. A request for a DMV hearing must be made within seven days of receipt of the Notice after a breath test, or ten days after the date of mailing of a Notice after a blood test. Failure to request the hearing within the prescribed time limits results in forfeiture of the hearing and automatic license revocation. Requesting a DMV hearing delays the license revocation until the date of the hearing, which must be scheduled within 60 of the request.
  3. Have Your Attorney Conduct a Thorough Investigation.As soon as possible, your lawyer will need to conduct an investigation into the events leading up to your DUI arrest. Your attorney will need to consider:
    • The facts leading up to the stop made the officer.
    • Whether you refused a chemical test, or if you submitted to a chemical test, was it a breath or blood test? Your lawyer will want to make sure your chemical test was conducted properly and according to protocol.
    • How the officer executed your field sobriety testing and what the alleged results were.
    • The information concerning your detention and arrest. During your arrest, you have certain rights, and your arresting officer is required to comply with those rights. Your DUI attorney will want to make sure that your arrest was conducted properly and that your rights were not violated.

If you’re from outside of Eagle County, you likely don’t have the time or energy to deal with this. Call us, and we’ll deal with it for you.

An Overview of Colorado Driving Under the Influence Laws

Driving Under the Influence (DUI). In Colorado, driving a vehicle under the influence means that a driver was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and the level of impairment was to such a degree that the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely was significantly diminished. Upon chemical testing, if the chemical test result indicates that the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08 or higher, a permissible inference is made that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). A less severe charge than driving under the influence in Colorado is driving while ability impaired. This means that a driver was driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and  the level of impairment was even to the slightest degree to impair driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely and was diminished compared to an unimpaired driver. Upon chemical testing, if the chemical test result indicates that the driver’s BAC was between 0.05 and 0.08, a permissible inference is made that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

Underage Drinking and Driving. In Colorado, driving a vehicle under the influence while under the age of 21 can result in a class A infraction of the law. Underaged drivers who submit to a breath test and the test results indicate a BAC of between 0.02 and 0.05 are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana. It is legal in Colorado to those 21 and older to privately use and possess marijuana, however, diving under the influence of marijuana is illegal. Similar to the inferences that are drawn from a BAC over the legal limit, if a driver submits to testing and the driver has a concentration of THC in his or her blood of five  ng/ml, the driver is presumed to be under the influence of marijuana to such an extent that his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely is questionable.

Potential Consequences for Driving Under the Influence in Colorado

In addition to loss of license and points added to your driving record, a DUI/DWAI can result in criminal penalties. DUI and DWAI convictions can result in jail time ranging from 2 days to a year of imprisonment, up to 120 hours of community service, court costs and fines, probation, mandatory alcohol education programming and possibly mandatory enrollment in a treatment program, if applicable. The severity of the penalties is tied to:

  1. How severely or egregiously you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, e.g., how high your BAC was at the time of the arrest.
  2. Whether you are a first, second, third or more time offender.
  3. If you are a repeat DUI or DWAI offender, penalties are also based in part on how long it has been since your last offense.
  4. Whether other people were hurt due to your actions.

 

Don’t wait. We can help you get your charges resolved so your can get back to what matters.

 
If you’re from outside of Eagle County, you likely don’t have the time or energy to deal with this. Call us, and we’ll deal with it for you.