3rd DUI Colorado


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3rd DUI Colorado

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.

If you have been arrested…

Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.

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


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.


Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

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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