Drunk Driving / DUI / DWAI

DUI Attorneys in Colorado Springs

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Have you been pulled over for a DUI or DWI?

Strong, Experienced Colorado Springs DUI Defense Attorneys

Driving under the influence of alcohol is the most common criminal offense in the United States. Yet it is almost always committed by a non-criminal – an otherwise respectable citizen who has never been in trouble with the law.

The biggest mistake is treating DUI or DWAI as a glorified traffic offense, instead of the serious legal matter it is. Many defendants turn to their family lawyer or business attorney, who may not be qualified to defend a drunk driving case.

We Know What’s at Stake – And How to Defend You

If you were arrested for drunk driving in the Colorado Springs area, call Gasper Law Group immediately at 719-227-7779. The Attorneys at The Gasper Law Group have helped hundreds of clients keep their license, stay out of jail and avoid the harshest consequences.

  • You have just seven days from arrest to request a DMV license suspension hearing. If you miss this deadline, you cannot get a restricted permit to drive to work.
  • If you are a member of the military, a truck driver or a licensed professional, your career may be in jeopardy.
  • If you are under age 21, the threshold for drunk driving is lower and license suspension is longer. We handle all underage drinking offenses.
  • You may be eligible for diversion programs to avoid a conviction on your record, but you have to watch your step on drunk driving probation.
  • Our legal team knows how to fight your drunk driving case, from questioning the traffic stop to challenging the physical evidence.

First Time DUI? Repeat Offense? We Can Help.

Drunk driving defense lawyer Allen Gasper has 18 years of experience in courts of El Paso County and neighboring counties. He will sit down to explain your rights, the possible consequences for conviction, and what will help or hurt your case. He knows the area prosecutors and judges – where there is room to negotiate a favorable outcome to limit the jail time and impact on your life.
Reach us 24/7 for a free initial consultation.

Potential Consequences of DUI

Below are the statutory penalties for a straight conviction, which we always seek to avoid. If we can’t get your case dismissed, we aim for a deferred sentence or a plea to a lesser offense such as reckless driving. If the prosecutor won’t budge, we are prepared to take your case to trial to protect your freedom, your license and your reputation.

DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) is charged if your blood-alcohol content is .08 or greater. DWAI (driving while ability impaired) is a lesser offense if your BAC is .05 or greater and there is evidence of intoxication. DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) is driving while impaired by any controlled substance – including prescription medications.

Each US state has its own set of drunk-driving laws, and in some states drunk driving is a crime, while in others, like New Jersey, it is classified as a traffic offense. While drunk-driving laws do differ among the states, there are certain concepts and features common to most states’ drunk-driving jurisprudence. Basically, as we all know, operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and/or drugs to a degree that impairs a person’s judgment and ability to drive safely is a serious offense. Both criminal and civil penalties for drunk driving can be harsh and often include:

  • Loss or suspension of license
  • Large fines
  • Substance-abuse treatment
  • Jail or prison time
  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Criminal record
  • Restrictive probationary license programs, including ignition interlock devices and Cinderella licenses

In addition, the social stigma and effect on your career may have lifelong negative consequences.

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The Use of Ignition Interlock Devices in Drunk-Driving Cases

Most states have regulations that allow or mandate that judges order the installation of interlock devices as a penalty during sentencing in drunk-driving cases. An ignition interlock device is installed in a car that measures the blood alcohol content of the driver, who must blow into the device before starting the car. If the blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a certain level, the car will not start. Because the laws regarding the use of ignition interlock devices in drunk-driving cases vary from state to state, it is important to speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney in your state.

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The Prosecutor’s Role in a Drunk-Driving Case

Prosecution refers to the government’s role in the criminal-justice system. When criminal activity is suspected, it is up to the government to investigate, arrest, charge and bring the alleged offender to trial. A prosecutor is a lawyer who works for the government and who is responsible for developing and presenting the government’s case against a criminal defendant. Prosecutors may be called county attorneys, city attorneys, district attorneys or states’ attorneys. Some jurisdictions may even have experienced police officers act as prosecutors in drunk-driving cases. The prosecutor is the opponent or “adversary” of the criminal defendant and his or her attorney; the two sides go head-to-head against each other in court.

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Reliability of Breath-Test Results in a Drunk-Driving Case

In every state in the US, a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is presumed to be legally intoxicated for drunk-driving purposes. Each state has also enacted an implied-consent law. Implied-consent laws provide that every licensed driver within the state is considered to have given his or her consent to chemical testing to determine his or her BAC whenever a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion of intoxication. In most states, refusal to submit to such a test results in license suspension or revocation.

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The Impact of a Drunk-Driving Conviction on Your Auto Insurance

An alcohol-related car accident and subsequent drunk-driving conviction can bring many negative consequences into your life, possibly including jail or prison time, a criminal record, car repair or replacement, restitution, guilt and grief over harm to others, higher insurance premiums, a civil lawsuit, fines, court and administrative fees, community service, alcohol education, substance-abuse treatment, social stigma, restrictions on or revocation of your drivers license, attorneys fees, restrictive probation and others. If you are arrested for or charged with drunk driving, a lawyer can advise you about your legal rights and help you fight the charges.

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Drunk Driving/DUI Resource Links

About.com: Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Links to articles and resources about drunk driving.

Impaired Driving Division – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NHTSA’s Impaired Driving Division provides information and resources on drunk driving from a legal and social viewpoint and with a goal of prevention.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Link to informational chart about the drunk-driving laws of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Impaired Driving
Facts, data, publications and other helpful information involving impaired drivers.

The Century Council
A not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking.

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Drunk Driving Penalties: Under C.R.S. 42-4-1307, Current through the 2017 Legislative Session

Code Section

Offense

Penalty *minimum time = mandatory time

Fine

(4)(a)(I)-(III);(4)(c); (4)(b)

First Offense DWAI

2 days - 180 days, the court can still suspend jail time with alcohol and drug evaluation and Completion of a Level I or II program; 24-48 Hours of Useful Public Service; the course may impose a period of probation which cannot exceed two years

$200-$500

(4)(a)(I)-(III);(4)(c); (4)(b)

DWAI w/ BAC of .20 or more at the time of driving or within two hours of driving

10 days - 1 Year, court has discretion to use sentencing alternatives described in section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S.

$200-$500

(3)(a)(I)-(III); (3)(b); (3)(c)

First Offense DUI and DUI Per Se

5 days - 1 Year, the court can suspend jail time with alcohol and drug evaluation and completion of a Level I or II program; 48-96 Hours of Useful Public Service; the court may impose probation which cannot exceed two years

$600-$1000

(3)(a)(I)-(III); (3)(b); (3)(c)

DUI and DUI Per Se w/ BAC of .20 or more at the time of driving or within two hours of driving

10 days - 1 Year, court has discretion to use sentencing alternatives described in section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S.

$600-$1000

(5)(a)(I)-(IV); (5)(b)

Second Offense DUI, DUI Per Se, DWAI Prior Offenses include: DUI, DUI Per Se, DWAI, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, aggravated driving w/ revoked license, or driving under restraint

10 consecutive days - 1 Year, court has discretion to use sentencing alternatives described in section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S.l 48-120 Hours of Useful Public Service; Probation lasting at least two years and a 1 Year suspended sentence

$600-$1500

(5)(a)(I)-(IV); (5)(b)

Second Offense occurs less than 5 years after prior offense

Court has no discretion to employe sentencing alternatives except work release or school release

$600-$1500

(6)(a)(I)-(IV); (6)(c)

Third & Subsequent Offenses Prior Offenses include: DUI, DUI Per Se, DWAI, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, aggravated driving w/ revoked license, or driving under restraint

60 days - 1 Year; 48-120 Hours of Useful Public Service; Probation for at least two years plus 1 Year suspended sentence; Courts may include as a condition a requirement of alcohol treatment participation or residential treatment participation; Court has no discretion to employ sentencing alternatives except work release or school release

$600-$1500

(6.5)(b)(I)-(II); (6.5)(c)(I)-(II)

Felony Offenses Includes: DUI, DUI Per Se, DWAI, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault

In addition to the sentencing provisions of section 18-1.3-401, if the court orders probation as provided by section 18-1.3-202, the court shall: (1) Require 48-120 Hours of Useful Public Service, which may not be suspended AND(2) Level II alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment

N/A

(6.5)(b)(I)-(II); (6.5)(c)(I)-(II)

Felony Offenses Includes: DUI, DUI Per Se, DWAI, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault

In addition to the sentencing provisions of section 18-1.3-401, if the court orders probation as provided by section 18-1.3-202, the court shall: (1) Require 48-120 Hours of Useful Public Service, which may not be suspended AND(2) Level II alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment

N/A

(6.5)(b)(I)-(II); (6.5)(c)(I)-(II)

Felony Offenses Includes: DUI, DUI Per Se, DWAI, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault

If the court orders probation as provided by section 18-1.3-202, one of the following will be a condition of that probation: (1) 90-180 days incarceration in county jail, no discretion to employ sentencing alternatives OR (2) 120 - 2 Year incarceration in county jail through participation in a program pursuant to 18-1.3-106(1)(a)(II) or (1)(a)(IV)

N/A

Frequently Asked Questions about Drunk Driving

Q: What is “blood-alcohol concentration” or “blood-alcohol level”?
A: Blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is the level of alcohol in the bloodstream from drinking alcoholic beverages. BAC readings are used in court as evidence in drunk-driving cases. The most common method of measure is a breath test, although blood and/or urine testing is sometimes done. A result of .08 or higher may establish a presumption of intoxication. The details of the .08 BAC presumption laws vary among the states, but all 50 states have adopted .08 as their official intoxication level, in large part because of a federal threat of otherwise withholding highway funds.

Q: Can I refuse a Breathalyzer® test?
A: Every state has its own version of an implied consent law providing that a driver impliedly consents to alcohol testing just by the act of driving. In many states, a refusal to take a breath test is itself a criminal violation subject to stiff penalties. For example, refusing a breath test might result in automatic drivers-license suspension or revocation. If you are ultimately found guilty of a drunk-driving offense, there may be additional penalties because of the test refusal, such as a stiffer sentence. Your test refusal may also be used as evidence against you in a drunk-driving case.
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