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Colorado Springs DUI Limit

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What Is The Colorado DUI Limit?


If You Were Charged With A DUI You ONLY Have 7 DAYS to Request A DMV Hearing.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to overdo it when it comes to alcohol consumption and the legal DUI limit in Colorado. Considering that a single beer can remain in one’s system for two hours, it’s easy to see how someone can end up imbibing more than they intended and stray across the legal limit.

Of course, driving while intoxicated comes with a whole host of associated impairments and consequences. In fact, alcohol is involved in an estimated 40% of all traffic crashes. Consuming alcohol can impact one’s judgment, distort vision, reduce one’s ability to distinguish colors, and slow reaction times. When combined, these impairments leave drivers seriously hindered, creating dangerous conditions for themselves and other drivers on the road. 

It is with these realities in mind that the State of Colorado has put a legal DUI limit in place in the hopes of discouraging driving after alcohol consumption.

What is the BAC limit for DUI in Colorado?


Nearly 60 people are arrested for impaired driving every day in the state of Colorado. Understanding the legal structures that make these arrests possible involves a close look at Colorado’s layers of laws surrounding driving under the influence. 

In Colorado, a “DUI Per Se” is given to a driver who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08%. This seems fairly straightforward, but there are additional circumstances that lead to even harsher penalties. Those who have a BAC of 0.17% or higher can be charged with an “aggravated DUI,” which comes with enhanced penalties. In addition, Colorado has a strict zero-tolerance policy for those who consume alcohol and drive while under the age of 21. For these young drivers, a BAC as low as 0.02% can result in a DUI charge. 

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What are the penalties for different DUI levels in Colorado?


Colorado law allows for the revocation or suspension of a driver’s license after a DUI conviction — even if it is the driver’s first offense. This suspension for first offenders can last up to nine months. Second offenses may result in a 1-year suspension while a third offense can result in a 2-year suspension. The State of Colorado also allows for the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) onto the convicted person’s vehicle. This device will require the user to blow into a breathalyzer before starting the vehicle and at randomized intervals while driving. If the device detects an elevated BAC, the car will not start or will cease operation. The installation of an IID is mandatory for second offenses. 

In addition, Colorado has passed stricter penalties for those who are repeat offenders when it comes to DUI. Anyone who has three or more DUI convictions faces the possibility of prison time with any subsequent convictions. This so-called “felony DUI” has the potential to cause serious consequences for individuals facing multiple convictions. Larimer County Chief Deputy District Attorney Daniel McDonald turned to statistics about the prevalence of DUI cases in Colorado as he explained, “We had really nailed our process down for determining who was a felony DUI. We kind of got the process figured out.” These harsher penalties have faced scrutiny from many Coloradans with some concerned that their enforcement is inconsistent and unclear. 

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Can I refuse a breathalyzer test in Colorado?


Some who have consumed alcohol and then gotten behind the wheel plan to simply refuse a breathalyzer test if they are stopped by a police officer. This strategy will not get drivers very far in Colorado, however. The state has an “implied consent” law when it comes to operating a motor vehicle. Simply by driving, an individual has granted consent to submit to a chemical test of blood, urine, or breath to determine what substances the vehicle user may have in their system. 

As long as the police officer has a reasonable suspicion about an individual’s state of impairment, they have the right to require a test. Any individual who refuses a chemical test is automatically assumed to be driving under the influence, and the penalties for DUI can be instated. 


Should I hire a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer?


You should contact a Colorado Springs DUI lawyer immediately if you have been arrested or charged with DUI. In Colorado, you only have seven days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing from the DMV if you choose a breath test or refuse testing, otherwise, your license will be automatically suspended. If you choose a blood test you only have seven days from the date of your blood results to request a hearing. You will want to have an experienced DUI lawyer or your side to make sure you have the best chance possible at keeping your 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.

How long do you lose your license for a DUI in Colorado?

The length of time you will lose your license for after a DUI in Colorado, largely depends on if you have any previous DUI convictions. For a first time DUI, license revocation is generally at least 9 months, while for additional convictions it could be two or more years.

What happens if you get 3 DUI in Colorado?

Regardless of which side you are on, domestic violence charges are very serious. Once the authorities have gotten involved, it is in the hands of the state as to whether or not they will follow through with prosecution. You should speak with a Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Attorney as soon as possible to make sure your rights and freedoms are being looked out for.

What is the DUI limit in Colorado?

In Colorado, a DUI charge is for someone found driving a vehicle while under the influence, generally meaning they had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, or under the influence of drugs, but you can be charged with a DUI even if you do not have a blood or breath test. 

Experienced DUI Lawyer

Colorado Springs DUI Attorney Near You


What is a DUI? If you are unsure and need help navigating the Colorado DUI laws, contact Right Law Group today for a free case evaluation. You may be able to keep your license. Call us now to get help. An experienced Colorado Springs DUI lawyer can help get you through this. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.