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3rd DUI Colorado

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Facing DUI Charges For The Third Time? If You Were Charged With A 3rd DUI in Colorado You ONLY Have 7 DAYS to Request A DMV Hearing.

If you’ve been arrested for a third DUI charge in Colorado Springs, you already have a good idea of how the system works. Drinking and driving is a serious issue. The criminal justice system deals with that reality by employing stringent enforcement measures. Sentencing for DUI convictions includes mandatory rehabilitation efforts, but it also stresses punishment. If you are convicted of a third DUI, your sentence will include jail time, fines, education, public service, and a probation period. These outcomes will create a public record that will follow you for the rest of your life.

If you’ve been arrested for a third DUI, you need a DUI criminal defense attorney working to minimize the consequences. Even if this is your third encounter with DUI prosecution, an attorney can help you through the process.

Top-Rated Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer


Colorado Third Offense DUI Laws


C.R.S. 42-4-1301 describes Colorado’s DUI-related statutes. To charge a driver with a DUI crime, a law enforcement officer need only observe and conclude that he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Testing confirms those observations and supports the charge.

  • DUI Driving Under the Influence: A law enforcement officer observes that a person has consumed alcohol or used drugs to the point of being “substantially Incapable… to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle…”
  • DWAI, Driving While Ability Impaired: A law enforcement officer concludes that a driver’s alcohol/drug consumption affected their driving to the “…slightest degree…”
  • DUI Per Se: A police officer observes that a driver has consumed alcohol or drugs. A per se charge confirms those observations when a test shows a 0.08% blood or breath alcohol content.
  • UDD: A person under the age of 21 drives with a BAC 0 0.02% to 0.05%

Colorado Third Offense DUI Penalties


When a court convicts you of a third DUI crime, it’s still considered a misdemeanor. It becomes a felony if your DUI arrest involves vehicular assault or vehicular homicide. Punishments described under C.R.S. 42-4-1301, are more severe with each subsequent conviction.

  • County Jail Time: Mandatory 60 days up to one year
  • Fine: $600 minimum up to $1,500
  • Probation: At least 2 years
  • Useful Public Service: at least 48 up to 120 hours
  • License Suspension: 2-year revocation
  • DMV Points: 12 points
  • Mandatory alcohol education classes

Persistent Drunk Driver Conviction

If you have had multiple DUI convictions, an alcohol test refusal, or a high BAC, the court can designate you a Persistent Drunk Driver as defined by C.R.S. 42-1-102 (68.5 (a).

  • High BAC: A test determines that a driver was operating a vehicle with a BAC at 0.15% or greater.
  • Alcohol Test Refusal: A driver refuses to submit to a blood or breath alcohol test.

PDD penalties are in addition to other penalties for DUI or DWAI convictions.

  • Installation of an ignition interlock device: 2 years
  • Mandatory Level two alcohol education and treatment classes
  • SR-22 Filing from your insurance carrier

Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job or freedom.

Call today for a free case evaluation.

Lookback Period For Colorado DUI Law


C.R.S. 42-4-1301, Part III Prior Convictions,

Colorado DUI statutes have no specific lookback period. Under discretion granted by C.R.S. 42-4-1301, courts can consider any prior conviction on your record, including any convictions out of state. Courts use criminal histories as a “sentence enhancer.” When they look back and locate a history of prior DUIs, they can sentence even a first-time DUI conviction as a Class 4 Felony.

  • Three or more prior DUI, DWAI, or DUI Per Se, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault, convictions
  • Prior convictions must have resulted from separate incidents.
  • The courts consider prior convictions from Colorado or any state or territory under the United States’ jurisdiction.



Colorado’s DUI and DWAI statutes, C.R.S. 42-4-1301, are essentially the same. Each term describes a law enforcement officer’s observations as to the degree of alcohol and/or drug impairment.

  • A driver is DUI when they consumed alcohol and/or drugs renders them “… substantially incapable...”
  • A driver is DWAI when alcohol and/or drugs affect them “…in the slightest degree…”

In Colorado’s DUI statutes, the terms “substantially incapable” and “in the slighted degree” describe an alcohol-impaired driver’s mental and physical ability to exercise clear judgment, physical control, and due care in operating a vehicle safely. DWAI is a lesser charge than DUI.

Reinstatement of Driving Privileges After 3rd DUI


When a driver has three or more DUI convictions, they receive a mandatory 2-year license revocation. A driver may reapply for a restricted license after complying with Colorado DMV requirements.

After one year of operating a vehicle with a restricted license, a driver may reapply for a regular license.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or

    Arrest or

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of

    Advisement of

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /

    Pretrial Conference /

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment


    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness

    Pretrial Readiness

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing


    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

What is the sentence for misdemeanors in Colorado?

  • Class 1

  • 6 to 18 months in county jail, and/or
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • For extraordinary risk class 1 misdemeanors, the maximum jail sentence is 24 months.
  • For 3rd-degree assault (CRS 18-3-204), the maximum sentence can be 48 months if the victim was on duty as a:
    • Peace officer,
    • Emergency medical provider,
    • Firefighter, or
    • Mental health professional at the Department of Human Services.
  • Class 2

  • 3 to 12 months in county jail, and/or
  • $250 to $1,000 in fines

What are Colorado felony penalties?

  • Class 1

  • Life imprisonment
  • No Colorado crime carries the death penalty.
  • Class 2

  • 8 – 24 years in Colorado State Prison, and/or
  • $5,000 – $1,000,000
  • 5 years of mandatory parole if the offense is a crime of violence. Otherwise, 3 years of mandatory parole.
  • Class 3

  • 4-12 years in prison
  • Fines of up to $750,000 but not less than $3,000
  • 3 years of parole
  • Class 4

  • 2 – 6 years in prison, and/or
  • $2,000 – $500,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 4 felonies, the maximum sentence is 8 years in prison.
  • Class 5

  • 1 – 3 years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 2 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 5 felonies, the maximum sentence is 4 years in prison.
  • Class 6

  • 1 – 18 months years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 1 year of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 6 felonies, the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison.



Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorney


At Right Law Group, we understand the stress you are under. Our Criminal Defense Law Firm is here to guide you down the right path to your legal challenge. Whether you are facing your first DUI, a drug charge, need a restraining order, or are facing another type of criminal charge, our firm is committed to your well-being and protecting your rights the right way.

What is the penalty for 3 DUI's?

The penalty for your 3rd DUI in Colorado will likely depend on the factors of your individual arrest. Penalties will likely include jail time, suspension of driving privileges, fines, ignition interlock requirement, and community service.

How long do you go to jail for 3rd DUI in Colorado?

Jail time for a 3rd DUI in Colorado can vary depending on the particular circumstances. Usually, a 3rd DUI will mean a minimum of 60 days in jail.

How long do DUIs stay on your record in Colorado?

A DUI will stay on your record for ten years in Colorado. That being said, Colorado has no official “look-back” period, meaning that if you get a DUI 11 years after your first DUI, it will still be considered a subsequent DUI.

Experienced DUI Lawyer

Colorado Springs First 3rd DUI Attorney Near You


When you’re charged with a 3rd DUI in Colorado, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and knows how the court system works. DUI attorneys work with you to help you establish a strong defense. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, an attorney can help you fight for a lesser charge, a reduced sentence, or another more favorable outcome. Contact us right away for a free case consultation.

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