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When is jail time possible after a Colorado DUI?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Colorado. As a result, the consequences can be severe, including the possibility of jail time. Individuals need to be aware of the circumstances that may lead to incarceration to make informed decisions and, ultimately, prevent putting themselves and others at risk.

While not every DUI case results in jail time, certain factors increase the likelihood of facing this consequence.

Blood Alcohol Concentration levels

A key factor influencing the possibility of jail time after a Colorado DUI is the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level at the time of arrest. Colorado has strict BAC limits. Exceeding these limits increases the likelihood of facing incarceration. Drivers with a BAC level well above the legal limit may be subject to more severe penalties, including mandatory jail sentences. This reflects the state’s commitment to deterring drunk driving.

Previous DUI convictions

Repeat offenses amplify the seriousness of a Colorado DUI charge. Those with prior DUI convictions face harsher consequences, including an increased likelihood of serving time in jail. The legal system views repeat DUI offenses as a pattern of behavior that poses a higher risk to public safety. Thus, judges may opt for more stringent penalties to deter repeat offenders and protect the community.

Aggravating circumstances

Certain circumstances surrounding a DUI arrest may constitute aggravating factors. These factors heighten the likelihood of jail time. Aggravating factors may include causing an accident resulting in injury or property damage, driving with a suspended license or having a minor in the vehicle. Courts take these aggravating circumstances seriously. This is because they see them as indicators of a higher level of risk and irresponsibility.

The Colorado Department of Public Safety reports that there were more than 26,000 DUI arrests statewide in 2019. By making responsible choices, individuals can protect their own well-being, avoid imprisonment and enhance the safety of Colorado’s roads.

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