Driving while ability is impaired in colorado

Driving while ability is impaired is the operation of a motor vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired to the slightest degree. The impairment can come from drugs, alcohol, or both. 

The important language of the definition is slightest degree. A jury does not get much guidance on the slightest degree language. The blood alcohol content bac for a DUI is .08, but the BAC for a DWAI is .05.

The operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs is harder to define. A DUI under the influence of marijuana has a limit of 5 nanograms. This is an extremely low level. 

Most edibles have a minimum of 10 nanograms. Smoking marijuana will also result in a THC level above the limit. There is not a defined limit for THC in Colorado.

When dealing with DWAI and drugs, it is important to research the drug and understand its effects. An anti-depressant could potentially help a person focus while driving. If a driver has three times the dosage in their system, it could definitely impact their ability to drive. It may be important to speak with a toxicologist during the course of your representation.

The definition of DWAI can be found in the Colorado Revised Statutes. You can find more information about dui laws there. If you have questions about the specifics of your case, you should always speak with a DUI Attorney.

punishment for dwai in colorado

Driving while ability is impaired is an unclassified misdemeanor in Colorado. A first offense carries a maximum jail sentence of 6 months. The court is required to impose a 2-day jail sentence. 

The jail time can be suspended with the completion of an alcohol or drug class. The maximum fine is $500. There are also costs associated with probation.

A court can place a defendant on probation as well. Probation would require the defendant to submit to monitored sobriety, complete community service, completed a MADD Victim Impact Panel, and complete an alcohol and drug class. Probation can be one to two years. In a lot of cases, a court will consider early termination of probation. 

Driving privileges will not be impacted by a DWAI, unless you are dealing with points. A second or a third DWAI can result in an administrative revocation. A DUI typically has a revocation based on the Colorado Express Consent Statute. This can also impact a commercial driver.

Second and a third dui convictions are punished in the same manner a driving under the influence charge. A second DUI carries a mandatory 10-day jail sentence. The mandatory minimum jail sentence for a third DUI in Colorado is 60-days. 

A Fourth DWAI constitutes a felony in Colorado

What are the common defenses to driving while ability is impaired? 

The first line of attack to a DWAI is the reason for the stop. Police must have probable cause to stop or detain you. If an officer does not have probable cause to stop you, the information obtained during the traffic stop\ is suppressed.

The officer also has to have a reason to believe you are under the influence. This will need to be supported by observable fact. Police cannot simply say they believe you are under the influence. 

A cop can also potentially request a blood or breath test. A blood test will be done by a nurse. A breath test will be done on a testing device at the police station.

The blood or breath test will determine how you proceed. In some cases, a raising alcohol defense can be made. There may also be errors in how the test was completed.

If test results are above .05 for alcohol you will be charged with DWAI. If drugs are fond, you can also be charged with a DWAI.

If your case doesn’t have any legal defense, you may want to consider mitigation. Mitigation would include starting the alcohol classes early or submitting to alcohol monitoring. You can find alcohol classes near you through google. It is important to find a class that works with your location and schedule. 

Speak with A Qualified Criminal Defense and DWAI Defense Attorney

Every case is different. There is not a one size fits all to dwai charge. Each DUI case is different, and it requires a defense tailored to your specific facts and needs. It is important to speak with a dui defense attorney about your options and case.

Our drunk driving defense lawyer has handled thousands of dui cases in the Denver Metro Area. This includes cases in Arapahoe County, Adams County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, and other Counties in Colorado. Mr. Lawrence would gladly offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Speak with a DWAI Defense Attorney Today