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<p>Read the blog archives of The Clark Law Firm to find out what’s happened in Colorado that affects DUI lawyers, DUI law, and other legal news and tips.</p>

Is a DUI a Felony?

Is a DUI a Felony?

By on Oct 27, 2015 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

  When you have been drinking and decide to get behind the wheel of a car to drive, there is always the question if you have had too much to drink. If it turns out you have and you are pulled over under suspicion of this, what happens from there can be much worse. Many of us wonder after being charged, if the DUI you have gotten can become a felony charge and the answer is yes. If you have been drinking, it is best to be safe and not drive. However, if you go to court for the charge of a felony DUI, make sure you have the best defense standing behind you to consult you on what a DUI actually is and what this can mean for you. What is a DUI? A DUI stands for ‘Driving Under the Influence’ and it comes with many consequences when charged of this. If you have been drinking, there is a certain amount of alcohol you can drink before you reach a level that is considered too much to drive. When that level is too high, it affects your ability to make sound and delayed judgments, which may cause you to drive unsafely, including swerving or not driving within the speed limit. These are what may get a police officer to pull you over for suspicion of being intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle. Once the police officer pulls you over and feels you are intoxicated, they will have you take a breathalyzer test. This test will give the cop a number, telling them how much alcohol you have running through your system. In all states, currently, if the breathalyzer reads a BAC or Blood Alcohol Content level of 0.08 percent or higher, you will be charged with a DUI. The police officer has the jurisdiction to bring you in and there are several consequences that can come after. How a DUI Becomes a Felony After being pulled over, brought in, and charged with a DUI, there are steps that come after this. You will go through a sentencing process to determine if you will be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, each resulting in different levels of punishment....

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Myths to Avoid a DUI

Myths to Avoid a DUI

By on Sep 4, 2015 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

  Getting charged with a DUI can be one of the worst days in a person’s life, so it is no surprise that people will try anything to avoid this from happening. A DUI can cause all sorts of problems depending on the level of severity. While behind the wheel of a car, your alcohol level should be below .08% which is the legal limit or to be safe, you should be sober. A police officer must have probable cause to pull your vehicle over and once they’ve stopped you, they must have a reason to think you are under the influence of alcohol. This is the point that most try to get out of it in different ways that, in most cases, are a myth. It is nearly impossible to fool an officer that you have not been drinking. It is even harder to fool a breathalyzer test, which is typically performed on the side of the road. Cheating a Breathalyzer Test There are ideas that several of us have to trick a breathalyzer test into lowering our BAC level to be below the legal limit. The BAC indirectly measures the amount of alcohol on one’s breath after blowing into the mouthpiece. There are a few kinds of breathalyzers but the one most likely to be admissible in court is an infrared instrument or evidentiary breath tester. Numerous myths tend to revolve around the idea that you can cover up the evidence of alcohol directly on your breath. One of the most popular, is that drinking mouthwash will help you pass this test by lowering your BAC. However, it only masks the scent of alcohol on your breath, while maybe raising the level because mouthwash contains a small amount of alcohol in it as well. Another myth floating around is the idea of sucking on a penny before taking the test. The infrared instrument measures BAC by passing an infrared light wave through your mouth, measuring the drop in intensity of the light. This actually will prevent the copper in a penny to change the BAC level. Some other myths that will have no effect on the blood alcohol level, is the idea of drinking coffee, or even...

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Underage DUI Laws & Consequences

Underage DUI Laws & Consequences

By on Aug 24, 2015 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

  Many people drink underage, whether it’s in college at a party or even in high school. Even though it is illegal to consume alcohol when you are under 21 years of age, the truth is, it still happens. One of the worst things that can happen to a minor is to get an underage DUI on their record, or, even worse, potentially cause a crash that kills someone while driving drunk. An Underage Drinking and Driving Offense (UDD) are taken very seriously for many reasons and the punishment is severe. Minors tend to binge drink when they do and their Blood Alcohol Content is on average 5 times higher than the legal limit (.40 BAC). About 10% of licensed drivers under 21 are also responsible for 17% of all fatal alcohol-related crashes. Minor drivers in Colorado will receive a UDD if their BAC level is .02 to .05. If they have a BAC over .05, they will be charged as an adult. Adults will normally receive a DUI for .08+ BAC and a DWAI for a .05 BAC. All states don’t require proof that the minor was drunk, just that alcohol was present in the system and this can be presented through a Breathalyzer or blood test. Many states have strict zero-tolerance laws on UDDs, even if the minor had permission from their legal guardian. When is Underage Drinking Allowed? Underage drinking is allowed in certain circumstances, but most situations do not allow for their ability to be impaired and if it did, then it would be the responsibility of the guardian to not allow their minor to drive. Minors are allowed to consume alcohol in a private premise that doesn’t sell alcohol with the consent of a legal guardian. They are also allowed to drink for religious purposes like consuming wine for a religious ceremony. If a doctor is administering a medical treatment that requires alcohol for medical purposes then the minor may drink. Lastly, for educational purposes like culinary school, a minor may drink. It’s also important to point out that if a minor is calling 911 to report a medical emergency that affects another underage drinker, then they will not be penalized. If an underage...

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Sobering Drunk Driving Statistics

Sobering Drunk Driving Statistics

By on Jul 10, 2015 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

Sometimes, we are informed that something is bad, but never given the reason for it being bad. Here are some reasons why most people in America are so against drunk driving and why DUI laws are so strict. From The CDC On the topic of Impaired Driving, the CDC begins with a grim statement: “Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $59 billion”. When you think about it, the numbers are truly terrifying. 10,950 die from a drunk driver related accident each year. Unfortunately, it’s sad to say that it is surprising how low this number is. How Is Close To 11,000 Deaths Low? About 1.4 million drivers are arrested on average each year for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. However, 112 million Americans self-report that they drove impaired each year. To be frank, even a single death related to alcohol-impaired driving is heart-breaking, but when you consider the number of impaired drivers on the road, we might even say that we are lucky that there are not more deaths. Why Aren’t There More Deaths? While we don’t want more deaths related to alcohol, it is important to question why. First, not every alcohol-impaired traffic incident results in a death or even an injury. Secondly, traffic enforcement officers look for visual driving indicators that give them insight into who might be driving impaired. Basically, with more alcohol in your body, you drive worse and it is easier for police officers to find and arrest you. Most DUI and DWAI arrests are due to the driver driving like an impaired-driver which lead them to get pulled over. Thirdly, there are way more drivers on the road than police officers, which allows highly-impaired drivers to get away with it. However, sometimes these people get away from the law, and instead head into an accident. Finally, impaired is defined by varying state laws which is most commonly defined as having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above 0.08%. The average male can consume two standard drinks in the first hour and have...

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A DUI On Your Record

A DUI On Your Record

By on Jun 19, 2015 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

Colorado The state of Colorado is extremely strict. If you get a DUI on your record, then it stays there forever. In fact, not only does your DUI stay on your record, it can be used against you if you get charged for another DUI offense in the future. So, if you have a DUI on your record from decades ago, it will still be used against you in the future. Felony or Misdemeanor? The first two DUI offenses within the state of Colorado are usually considered a misdemeanor crime as long as the driver did not hurt someone else or damage property. However, if the driver created physical injury to someone or property damage, then him or her, will most likely face a felony charge. Don’t get too comfortable with the fact that a DUI is often considered a misdemeanor case. Why? Because different states have different laws. Unfortunately, if you move to a different state your record will show a misdemeanor DUI, but if your new state has more rigorous laws, they will see “DUI” and assume you are a felon. In fact, most people in general assume that a DUI is a felony even on the first offense even in the state of Colorado and it is brutally difficult for a felon to find work. Employment Difficulties Getting a job becomes extremely difficult when you have a DUI whether it is a misdemeanor or felony. First, you do not have to report a DUI on your job application if it is not a felony. However, many companies will do a background check on potential employees and your DUI will show up. This is where a misdemeanor DUI can get complicated. There is a general stereotype that many people hold that a DUI is a felony offense, even if it is declared as a misdemeanor. Which means your odds of getting hired will often be lowered because of generalizations that individuals hold. Further, a DUI on your record indicates to employers you are a potential risk. Your record does not show the circumstances surrounding your DUI, which leaves it up to the employer’s imagination. In Colorado, all this tells the employers is that you broke a law...

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What’s The Difference Between a DUI and DWAI?

What’s The Difference Between a DUI and DWAI?

By on May 26, 2015 in Blog, Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

The Difference Between A DUI and DWAI  In the State of Colorado, there are two charges you may face if you are caught drunk driving. The first is Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and the other is Driving While Intoxicated (DWAI). So, what’s the difference? When you get pulled over under the suspicion of drunk driving, you may blow into a breathalyzer that tests the percentage of alcohol that’s inside of your bloodstream. The blood alcohol content (BAC) level result is the main criteria that differentiate a DUI from a DWAI. What Your BAC Levels Dictates For drivers over the age of 21, if you are pulled over and your BAC is between .05% and .08%, then you will be charged with a DWAI. However, if the breathalyzer shows that your BAC is .08% or higher, then you will be charged with a DUI. If you are under the drinking age, then anything above a .02% will mean a charge of either a DWAI or DUI. Compared to the rest of the country, Colorado has very unique drunk driving laws. The legal BAC limit in Colorado is .05%, which means that you can technically drink and drive as long as you’re under .05%. However, Colorado is also a no tolerance state, which means that even if you get pulled over and blow a BAC level that is lower than .05% it is up to the officer whether or not they give you a DWAI. How Much Trouble Are You In? Let’s say you get CONVICTED of a DUI or DWAI, then what are the penalties? On a first offense, a DUI can land you up to a year in jail while a DWAI can put you in jail for up to 180 days. You will be fined up to $1000 for a DUI and up to $500 for a DWAI. Further, a DUI charge will get your license suspended for 9 months but a DWAI will not receive a suspension at all. What do you do? The reality is that if you are convicted of either a DUI or a DWAI, then your life can get messy at the very least. Once charged with a DUI, you have seven...

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