DWAI Defense Attorney
Getting arrested for DUI in Colorado is among life’s most unpleasant experiences. Facing charges for a DUI can put you in a bind, even if no one was hurt or no accident transpired. Colorado imposes harsh penalties for DUI crimes, which usually involve the punishment of jail time, license suspension, and steep fines.
Yet, Colorado handles DUI a little differently than most states. In Colorado, in addition to a DUI charge you could automatically face charges for DWAI, or “driving while ability impaired.”
DWAI vs DUI
Differences from DUI
DWAI is a lesser charge than DUI and is typically applied in situations where a driver was impaired but did not meet or exceed the per se level of having a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration. The main difference between a DWAI charge and a DUI charge is in the BAC. If you take a blood or breath test and your blood alcohol concentration measures 0.08 or higher, you are charged with DUI. To be charged with DWAI you must have a BAC of 0.05 up to but less than 0.08.
To be convicted with DWAI, the State must prove that your driving was impaired. Producing a BAC of 0.05 in and of itself, with no signs of impairment, is not a crime.
Fines and Jail Time
Although the offense is considered a “lesser offense” than DUI, penalties for DWAI mirror those for DUI except for the first offense. For example, a first offense DUI can lead to 1 year in jail, but a first offense DWAI can lead to up to 180 days. Meanwhile, a second offense DUI and DWAI can lead to up to a year in jail. If you have been convicted of DWAI but not DUI, you may also not have your license suspended by the Colorado DMV.
For a first time DUI you can face up to $1000 penalties, but for a first-time DWAI you can face up to just $500. For the best chances of having your charges reduced or altogether dropped, you need to team up with a competent and determined criminal defense attorney. Miller Leonard has defended the criminally accused for over 17 years. Call 720-613-8783 for a consultation.