Talk to an Attorney NOW (303) 870-4900

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...

Read More
DUI First Offense: What to Do With Your First DUI

DUI First Offense: What to Do With Your First DUI

By on Apr 15, 2015 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

Getting your first DUI is a serious and life-changing event. Just because it is your first offense does not mean the courts will go easy on you but with the help of a DUI attorney, you can get your life back on track. DUIs charges can vary depending on circumstance such as having an open container, having a child in the car, other passengers, or crashing your car. Overall, DUIs do follow similar punishments and fines. What Qualifies as a DUI? A DUI applies to anything that alters your brain and nervous system or impairs your judgment. Although DUIs generally are in regards to alcohol consumption, it can also apply to drugs like marijuana or prescription drugs. In order to be charged with a DUI, your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) must be .08 or more. It is possible to be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) if your BAC is .05-.08 from consuming alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. First DUI Criminal Charges First time DUI offenders will face criminal charges with a minimum incarceration of 5 days and a maximum sentence of 1 year. It is rare for first offenders to go to jail but it is mandatory with a BAC of .20 or more. If you are convicted of a DUI, you can be sentences to a minimum of 2 days in jail with a max of 180 days with a possibility of getting the sentence suspended. A suspension can occur if you attend an alcohol treatment program. Drivers License Suspension for First Offenses The first time you are charged with a DUI, you may get a 9 month license suspension with 12 points towards a license suspension. If you took a breathalyzer test, then you only have 7 days to discuss your DUI charges with an attorney and request a court hearing to keep your license. Your license may be reinstated if you complete an alcohol and substance abuse assessment and treatment program. If your BAC was .17 or more, then you will have a mandatory ignition interlock device placed on your car. This is known as a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), which requires you to blow into the device and pass...

Read More
Test for Driving While High

Test for Driving While High

By on Mar 25, 2015 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

For a while, there was controversy on how a police officer could identify that someone was driving while high on marijuana after it was legalized in certain states like Colorado. The argument is that even days after smoking weed, THC remains in the body, which would skew any results and lead to more DUID citations for drivers. Probable Cause for Pulling a Driver Over A police officer needs probable cause to pull someone over and those on the lookout for DUIs tend to find DUID drivers because they exhibit the same behaviors when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Probable cause means having enough information to support a reasonable belief that someone has, is, or about to commit a crime. Driving while stoned or high is illegal because it impairs reaction time, hand-eye coordination, concentration and perception of time and distance, and short-term memory. Often times, drivers under the influence will swerve across the road or drive along the borders of the lane that they are in, much like DUI’s. Once the police officer decides to pull you over, there are a few things that will happen. Roadside Testing for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs A police officer will follow the same protocols when pulling someone over for a suspected DUI as for a DUID. A breathalyzer will be given and field sobriety tests. If a police officer believes that you are driving under the influence of drugs, they will call in a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Many police departments have a DRE that is trained to recognize impairment of drivers for drugs and alcohol. A DRE will look at the suspect’s eyes for reddening, marijuana odor, as well as body and eyelid tremors. From here, they will take a blood test to confirm their suspicion. A Colorado driver is considered impaired if they have a THC level of 5 nanograms per millimeter of blood. Refusing a Blood Test with a Drug Recognition Expert However, you can refuse a blood test through Colorado’s Express Consent Law. If a driver refuses a blood test, a warrant must be obtained before any blood is drawn. Police officers must act fast because THC can metabolize quickly out of the...

Read More
Colorado Pot Users Beware! Legal Pitfalls to Avoid With Recreational Marijuana

Colorado Pot Users Beware! Legal Pitfalls to Avoid With Recreational Marijuana

By on Mar 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

The legal and recreational sale of pot in Colorado has been under way since January 1st. For the most part it’s been a smooth transition for the plant that has otherwise been illegal for over 60 years. Coloradoans are now legally allowed to buy, possess, and consume marijuana. But many people are confused as to what the laws surrounding its legal use are. So to help understand this issue a little bit better, read on to find out exactly what you need to know if you intend to use marijuana legally in Colorado. Colorado Recreational Pot Laws to Be Aware of Growing Marijuana Adults that are aged 21 and older are allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants privately in a locked space. No more than half of the plants, 3 in total, can be flowering or “budding” at any given time. For recreational use, it is illegal to sell any amount of marijuana that has been grown privately. For multiple occupants in a single residence, only 12 plants can be kept regardless of the number of people living there. Buying Marijuana from a Dispensary Any person aged 21 and older with a valid government-issued photo identification card can purchase marijuana from a licensed dispensary. This includes out of state residents as well as Coloradoans. You are allowed to share Marijuana so long as it is with someone of appropriate age and no money is actually exchanged. Personal sale of marijuana is still illegal, though gifting marijuana is not. Dispensaries That Can Sell Recreational Marijuana There are a great number of dispensaries in Colorado, but only licensed retail dispensaries are allowed to sell marijuana recreationally to the public. For listing of recreational marijuana dispensaries, check out weedmaps.com. How Much Marijuana Can be Purchased From a Dispensary For recreational users, only a quarter of an ounce can be purchased at any particular time. This does not limit a person to the number of times you can make a purchase in a single day, it only limits the amount to each individual visit to a dispensary. How Much Marijuana Can You Carry on Your Person For recreational users, one ounce can be carried legally on your person at any particular...

Read More
False Accusations of Domestic Violence: Easier Than You May Believe

False Accusations of Domestic Violence: Easier Than You May Believe

By on Mar 3, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

When one person makes an accusation, check to be sure he himself is not the guilty one. Sometimes it is those whose case is weak who make the most clamor. –Piers Anthony False accusations for domestic violence occur more often than most may give credit to. Part of the problem is simply that domestic violence laws operate on the belief that any conflict with a partner should be brought to the attention of the law. This even includes minor cases and as a result, many of the policies we have in the U.S are such that they can actually promote being wrongly accused of domestic violence. What follows here are a few reasons why false accusations of domestic violence occur so often. Problems That Allow For Falsely Accused Domestic Violence Cases Definition of Domestic Violence: One of the biggest issues is that the law defines domestic violence very broadly and vaguely. Now this is not to say it isn’t important to cover every area where domestic violence can occur, but that these areas should be more clearly defined as they are often open to interpretation. For example domestic violence includes: intimidation, stalking, economic deprivation, throwing objects, trespassing, and harassment to name a few. How are any of these clear signs that domestic violence has occurred? But if any of these have been claimed to occur, this leads us to our next problem: the lack of evidence needed for proof. Evidence Not Needed: Domestic violence service providers, law personnel, and prosecutors are all instructed to always believe the victim. Now this is obviously so that no real crime committed is left unresolved. But this is also the case when no real evidence or proof of violence or abuse is present. You imagine that you are innocent until proven guilty, but that isn’t how domestic violence cases play out. If you are accused of domestic violence, it would seem more like you are guilty until proven innocent. Now without proof or evidence you will not be found guilty by a court or jury but that certainly doesn’t diminish the problems and difficulties you’ll face until your innocence is proven. Victim Training and Advocates: Domestic violence programs hire “victim advocates” who train...

Read More
Colorado New Year’s DUI Arrests Down 14% from Year Prior

Colorado New Year’s DUI Arrests Down 14% from Year Prior

By on Feb 24, 2014 in Blog, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

New Year’s is typically one night of the year when law enforcement in Colorado witnesses a huge jump in drunk drivers. Party goers have a long night of celebrating and often make the wrong choice on how to get home. In 2014 however, that was not necessarily the case. Colorado law enforcement arrested 14% fewer drunk drivers this New Year’s holiday compared to last year, and DUI related fatalities were down as well. This has officials hopeful that Coloradoans may finally be finding safer and alternative ways to get home. The Heat Is On The Heat Is On is a grant funded program that allows for more officers to be on patrol during times when it is suspected there will be more drunk drivers on the road. New Years is obviously targeted, but other days include certain holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, big sports events or concerts, fairs and city/town festivals, and essentially any time when it is expected that people might be out drinking. During the summer, you can typically expect more officers to be on patrol on the weekend as many Coloradoans want to go out and enjoy themselves. Officials believe The Heat is On program is to thank, in part, for the reduced number of DUI arrests this New Year’s. The program has been running for a number of years and no doubt you’ve seen their advertisements on billboard and television. Click it or Ticket and 100 days of summer HEAT are the first two slogans to come to mind. Officials think that due to the awareness of the program Coloradoans have finally realized the strides law enforcement officers are making to catch suspected drunk drivers. This awareness perhaps has caused people to be more cautious and careful after they’ve been drinking, and as a result have found other means of getting home. 2013 Saw Fewer DUI Related Arrests In 2013 overall, 28% fewer arrests were made for DUIs in Colorado compared to the year prior. This is a rather large number which makes some officials hopeful that the job they are performing is going well. Based on the percentage alone you would have a difficult time disagreeing, and no doubt if 28% fewer arrests equated...

Read More
Avoiding Legal Troubles in College: Keep Your Future Bright

Avoiding Legal Troubles in College: Keep Your Future Bright

By on Feb 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Students heading off to college indeed have a lot to learn, but some lessons are worth avoiding altogether. It may be unintentional, but often times a student’s first priority is not keeping a solid academic status. Distractions in college are abound and many of them can lead to big trouble with the law. If legal problems aren’t bad enough on their own, University disciplinary actions can be taken as well against students. This can lead to the loss of scholarships, removal from student housing, and even expulsion from school. As such it is worth knowing the most common reasons college students get into trouble with the law. Read on to find out exactly what needs to be avoided and how you can graduate with a clean and crime-free record. Drug and Alcohol Use One of the top reasons students get into trouble is because of drugs and alcohol. Being found in possession of drugs will in the least get you a ticket with a fine, you may even go to jail depending on the type and quantity. If you’re found in possession on school grounds, you can expect a whole other headache to emerge. Universities have a no drug policy, and rarely do they take this lightly. The same can be said for alcohol related crimes. Whether you are underage, purchasing it for others who are underage, or were found guilty of public intoxication, alcohol related crimes are serious. Beyond being drunk or in possession of alcohol, there is a whole other realm of crimes that usually occur due to alcohol consumption. One of the most common crimes that occur is indecent exposure, which usually occurs when a student is found publicly urinating. All of the above mentioned crimes may be bad, but being under the influence of drugs or alcohol becomes worse when you are found driving as well. Driving while under the influence (DUI), driving while ability impaired (DWAI), or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) are all serious offences. They not only create mountains of legal problems, but put people’s lives at risk as well which is the main reason to avoid driving while intoxicated in any way. Assault People have disagreements, that much can...

Read More