A little while ago, our firm presented a blog post regarding the upcoming changes to DUI law in Colorado. These changes are going into effect on January 1, 2014. While that post addressed the changes that will occur, we have received several questions on how these changes will affect our clients. Overall the change in law will reduce the time that most people will lose their driving privileges. In summary, a person whose privilege to drive was revoked for one year or more because of a second or subsequent DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI conviction will now be able to apply for an interlock device after one month. Furthermore, drivers that refuse any chemical test (a Breathalyzer or blood test) will now lose their license for 2 months instead of a year. This change in law also will affect “persistent drunk drivers”. Currently a driver is a “persistent drunk driver” if he or she has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.17 or more. As of January 1, 2014, the level will drop to 0.15 or more.
In order to understand how this law may affect a potential DUI or DWAI client, it is important to understand how the law approaches cases involving allegations of DUI and DWAI. Please see the previous posts Colorado’s Express Consent Law, DUI and DWAI – Part I: The Administrative Case and DUI or DWAI – Part II: The Criminal Case.
Prior to January 1, 2014, a driver who is asked to submit to a chemical test under the Express Consent Law has to decide whether to:
- Refuse consent to a chemical test and subsequently lose his license for a minimum of 1 year but limit the possible evidence for the prosecution to use in a criminal DUI case and have no possible DUI per se charge.
- Consent to a chemical test knowing that those results can be used to convict him of DWAI, DUI and/or DUI per se charges if that chemical test indicates a BAC of 0.05 or greater. The results of such charges can include revocation of a license, jail time, fines, fees and community service.
As of January 1, 2014, this analysis will be much different since the revocation of one’s license for refusing a chemical test will be reduced from 1 year to 2 months – only 1 month longer than revocation due to a BAC of 0.08 or greater. Whether or not you submit to a chemical test upon the request of an officer, DUI and DWAI cases are complex and require significant knowledge and tenacity to successfully defend a driver against such charges. The attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates have successfully defended many clients against such charges as we understand these complexities and know how to insure you get the best outcome you can. Call us today at (720) 863-7755.