Colorado DUI Penalty Overview

The State of Colorado takes drinking and driving very seriously drinking and driving. While it is legal in the State of Colorado to “drink and drive”, it is not legal to drive while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if your ability to drive has been impaired either mentally or physically by alcohol or drugs. The Colorado DUI penalties will depend on the circumstances surrounding your DUI case.

Having said that, Colorado statues Section 42-4-1307 sets out the penalties for the various levels of sentencing. Many people believe that Colorado is one of the harshest states for DUI sentencing. I will go through some of the Colorado DUI penalties:

First Conviction Colorado DUI Penalties

If this is your First Conviction for either DUI or DWAI then according to Sec. 42-4-1307(3), generally this will happen to you:

  • Supervised Probation for between 12 and 24 months
  • Treatment
  • Monitored Sobriety
  • Useful Public Service between 24 and 48 hours
  • Costs of Court
  • DUI Fine $600 to $1500 and DWAI fine $200 to $500.

EXCEPT: If you have a chemical test result of .20 or higher then under the statue you are to serve a ten (10) day jail sentence. The Judge has discretion on this sentencing so this could be converted to an In Home Detention sentence with an ankle monitor.

Second Conviction Colorado DUI Penalties

If this is your Second Conviction for either a DUI or a DWAI, according to Sec. 42-4-1307(5), generally this will happen:

IF YOUR PRIOR IS WITHIN THE PAST FIVE YEARS then by law you must serve a minimum of ten (10) days in real jail and that sentence can be up to one year. Sec. 42-4-1307(5)(b)

IF YOUR PRIOR IS OVER FIVE YEARS OLD: You still have a minimum mandatory jail sentence of ten (10) days but you are eligible for the Judge to order your jail sentence be served as an In Home Detention sentence with an ankle monitor. This sentence can from ten days up to one year.

Otherwise for a second conviction the remainder of the sentence will be something like this:

  • Probation 24 months. Sec. 42-4-1307(5)(a)(IV)
  • Imprisonment of ten days and up to one year in jail (see above) Sec. 42-4-1307(5)(a)(I)
  • Fine of $600.00 up to $1,500.00. Sec. 42-4-1307(5)(a)(II)
  • Minimum of 48 hours of Useful Public Service up to 120 hours. Sec. 42-4-1307(5)(a)(III)
  • Monitored Sobriety (administered by Probation
  • Treatment

Third Conviction Colorado DUI Penalties

While you can read the statute all day long, the penalties used at sentencing for a Third (3rd) DUI/DWAI conviction in Colorado are very dependent on the Defendant and the Judge. Sec. 42-4-1307(6) sets out the penalties which include a minimum mandatory jail sentence of sixty (60) days. What is happening though, Judges are giving six month, nine month, and up to one year jail sentences for a Third DUI conviction in Colorado.

Don’t freak out yet. You as a Defendant can affect that outcome. The most important thing I have seen impact a sentence is the amount of “mitigation” the Defendant has accomplished. This usually means how much treatment did you get? How genuine are you with that treatment? Did you go to AA?

So while you will also get the other penalties such as Probation, Useful Public Service, etc. most people are most focused on the amount of jail time they are looking at when they are facing their third DUI conviction.