blog DUI DUIs in Colorado School Zones

DUIs in Colorado School Zones

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on June 15, 2022

DUIs in Colorado are heavily prosecuted and can carry significant penalties upon conviction, including fines, community service, license suspension, and imprisonment. If you are convicted of a DUI charge in a school zone, this exacerbates the potential consequences.

If you are facing a DUI charge in Colorado, having an experienced DUI attorney on your side drastically increases your chances of having your case dismissed, being found not guilty, or obtaining a more favorable sentence. Call the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Whitaker & Penix, LLC today at (970) 368-0602.

Identifying School Zones

Defined areas around Colorado schools are designated as “school zones” where differing road rules apply to protect the safety of school children. When a driver enters a school zone, it is generally made very clear by road signs indicating where the zone begins, often accompanied by flashing lights or speed bumps.

The boundaries of each school zone are determined by the state or local government with jurisdiction over that area, which will mark the zone with clear signage. A sign may detail that the school zone is only operative during certain hours of the day (generally around the start and end of school) and often reduce the speed limit in that area to 20mph during operative hours.

DUI Charges in School Zones

In Colorado, you can be charged with a DUI (driving under the Influence) or DWAI (driving whilst ability impaired). DWAIs apply where a driver has a blood-alcohol level of between 0.05% and 0.08%. If the driver’s blood-alcohol level is 0.08% or higher, they will be charged with the more serious DUI.

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol impairs a driver’s motor control, reaction times, and focus, posing a risk to themselves, other road users, and pedestrians. In a school zone, the risks from driving under the influence are increased due to higher pedestrian activity, difficulty of spotting small children, and how quickly children can run in front of cars.

For traffic violations that occur in a school zone, including for DUIs or DWAIs, Colorado’s laws provide that the maximum penalty generally applicable for that charge can be doubled.

How a Lawyer Can Help

If a person is charged with a DUI and has a blood alcohol level of over 0.08%, the Department of Motor Vehicles can take civil action to suspend the driver’s license for at least nine months.

DUI and DWAI charges are also criminal matters, where the accused will have an arraignment to choose their plea, followed by a pre-trial conference if they plead not guilty. If the accused rejects offers made by the District Attorney at the pre-trial conference, a suppression hearing and trial will follow.

Having a lawyer on your side when facing a DUI charge is crucial to receiving the best possible outcome in your case. A lawyer can detect flaws in the evidence obtained against you or the procedure followed in your arrest and evaluate the suitability of any offers by the District Attorney. Where a trial ensues, just as the prosecution does everything in their power to prove your guilt, a defense lawyer will passionately present your defense or argue for a reduced sentence if you are found guilty.

At Whitaker & Penix, LLC, our experienced DUI defense attorneys have years of experience advocating for the best possible outcomes for our clients. As former prosecutors, our attorneys can predict how the prosecution will argue their case and therefore know how to counter it.

If you need a defense attorney to assist you with a DUI or DWAI charge in Colorado, call our team today at (970) 368-0602.

Posted in: DUI