Colorado has strict laws to discourage drivers from drinking or using drugs while operating a motor vehicle. If you are convicted of DUI or DWAI in Loveland, you can face severe penalties that take away your freedom and driving privileges.
At The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC, our Loveland DUI and DWAI attorney aggressively defends the rights of clients who are facing DUI or DWAI charges. As a former district attorney, Attorney Sean P. Harrell understands how the state builds its case. He uses this intricate knowledge to help create strong defense strategies for his clients.
If you are facing DUI, DWAI, or any other alcohol or drug charges in Loveland, contact The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC today for a confidential consultation where we can discuss your legal rights and options. Call (970) 791-2006 or fill out our online form.
What Is DUI?
DUI stands for driving under the influence. This can be either alcohol or drugs. With a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above 0.08%, you can face DUI charges. With a BAC of 0.15% or above, you can be classified as a persistent drunk driver, which subjects you to harsher penalties.
If a person is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs, they are subjected to a blood test instead of a breath test because breath tests cannot currently detect the presence of controlled substances.
A person can also face DUI charges if they consumed a combination of alcohol and drugs.
What Is DWAI?
DWAI means driving while ability impaired. It is considered a lesser offense than a DUI because it involves a lower BAC level. However, law enforcement officers can establish grounds for a DWAI more easily than they can establish a DUI. A DWAI applies when a person’s driving is affected even in “the slightest degree” after consuming alcohol or a controlled substance. You can face this charge with a BAC of over 0.05% if you are less able mentally or physically to safely operate the vehicle than you ordinarily would have been.
A DUI or DWAI conviction can result in various penalties, including:
A first conviction of DUI can result in anywhere between five days and one year in jail, while a first conviction of DWAI can result in jail time between two and 180 days. The penalties increase with more convictions, resulting in potentially years behind bars.
In some cases, a portion of the jail sentence can be suspended if the defendant agrees to an alcohol treatment program.
In addition to criminal penalties, you can also face administrative penalties, including the potential loss of your driving privileges. This could result in a license suspension between nine and 24 months, depending on how many convictions you have received. The suspension can be for five years for habitual traffic offenders.
Criminal fines may be imposed of $200 to $1,500. Additionally, the defendant can be ordered to pay:
- Court costs
- Penalty surcharges of up to $500 to help pay for programs to address persistent drunk drivers
- Surcharges for the crime victim compensation fund
- Fees to reinstate their driver’s license
You may be ordered to perform community service if you are put on probation.
A DWAI generally results in eight points on your driver’s license, while a DUI results in twelve points.
Loss of Professional License
A conviction for a DUI or DWAI can also lead to the loss of professional licenses for doctors, nurses, lawyers, and other professionals.
Contact an Experienced DUI/DWAI Attorney for Assistance
If you are facing charges for DUI/DWAI, the best way you can protect your rights is to contact an experienced Loveland criminal defense lawyer. Call the our Loveland DUI/DWAI attorney at The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC today at (970) 791-2006 or contact us online to begin mounting a solid defense.