blog DUI Defending Breckenridge Vacationers Against DUI Charges

Defending Breckenridge Vacationers Against DUI Charges

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on June 21, 2021

Every state has its own strict laws regarding driving under the influence, and there are unique procedures and factors that can heavily impact your case. For visitors from out of state, Colorado’s DUI laws may feel familiar in some areas and completely foreign in others. After you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, you may be incredibly confused about what penalties you are facing, how your charges will impact your driving privileges, and what steps to take to get your rights back. Our team of Summit County criminal defense attorneys at Whitaker & Penix, LLC is here to guide you through the process.

How Does Colorado Define DUIs?

While all states have a legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), Colorado actually divides DUI charges into two categories for BAC:

  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI): A DWAI is a lesser charge that applies when a driver has a BAC of 0.05% or higher and less than 0.08%. The penalties for a DWAI are generally lesser than a DUI and a first offense will not immediately lead to a driver’s license suspension, but it can impact future charges.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): A DUI is the primary drunk driving charge in Colorado and applies when a driver operates a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. A single DUI can result in a license suspension for up to nine months, but prior DWAIs can lead to additional penalties.

Will a DUI Affect My Driving Privileges in My Home State?

In general, yes, being convicted of a DUI in Colorado will lead to a driver’s license suspension in your home state. This is because Colorado is a member of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC), which requires the Colorado DMV to share DUI convictions and driver license suspensions with other states. 45 states are currently members of the IDLC, which excludes Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Due to this, if you are convicted of a DUI in Colorado and have your driver’s license suspended, the penalties will follow you back home. You may also be unable to request an early reinstatement through an interlock device, which is available for Colorado residents. This means you will have to serve the full term of your suspension.

Can a DUI in My Home State Affect My Case in Colorado?

DUIs and DWAIs in Colorado are priorable, meaning you can face more penalties if you have a prior conviction or convictions on your record. It is irrelevant how long ago the prior convictions occurred. This can lead to mandatory imprisonment in a county jail, longer license suspensions, and heftier court fines. Colorado law also makes a 4th or higher DUI a felony offense, which may include time in Colorado State Prison. Because Colorado is a member of IDLC, Colorado courts and DMVs will be able to request your criminal record and evaluate old charges. If these charges line up with Colorado’s standard for a DWAI or DUI, then you may face additional penalties in your current case, even if your arrest took place out of state.

What Options Do I Have After an Arrest?

Remember that your Miranda Rights apply in every state in the country, and you should always exercise them upon arrest. Remember to remain silent and immediately request an attorney with Whitaker & Penix, LLC. Our criminal defense lawyers and DMV hearing attorneys in Breckenridge have years of experience defending clients in DUI cases and understand the harsh penalties out-of-state visitors face. We can explain your rights in a free phone consultation, review the charges against you, and use our comprehensive legal knowledge to advocate for reduced charges or a complete dismissal.

Call us today at (970) 368-0602 for a free phone consultation. Your future and rights are on the line.

Posted in: DUI