Facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI) can be an anxiety-inducing and frustrating experience, particularly if you have never faced criminal charges before.
Many Colorado residents are stopped and arrested for DUIs after they have even just one drink at dinner or while spending time at a bar or restaurant with friends. Depending upon your size and a number of other factors, even a single drink can result in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, which is the amount at which drinking and driving is illegal under Colorado law.
If you are facing DUI charges, we know that you are likely seeking information about what to do after a DUI arrest, and what to do if you get a DUI.
The following is a list of steps you should take if you are arrested for a DUI in Colorado.
1. Do Not Refuse to Take the DUI Chemical Test
If you are arrested for a DUI in Colorado, you should know that you will face serious consequences if you refuse to take a chemical test to determine whether you have a BAC above the legal limit. In Colorado, whenever you get behind the wheel of a car and drive, you already have given express consent—solely through the act of driving—to be tested for a DUI if you are stopped and arrested on suspicion of a DUI, driving while ability impaired (DWAI), or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Accordingly, if you refuse a chemical test (typically a breath or blood test) the consequences are severe.
Refusing to take a chemical test can result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for one year, a designation as a persistent drunk driver (PDD) that requires an ignition interlock device on your vehicle once your license is reinstated, required alcohol education and treatment, and a high risk auto insurance policy.
However, it is important to distinguish between a chemical test prior to arrest and one after you have been arrested. If you are only stopped on suspicion of a DUI, you have not already given consent to a breath test and can refuse it. Once you are arrested, however, then the penalties associated with refusing to take a chemical test apply.
2. Hire a Colorado DUI Defense Attorney
It is extremely important to work with a DUI defense attorney on your case. Your Colorado DUI defense lawyer can help to build a defense that is tailored to the facts of your case. You do not want to handle your defense on your own.
Under Colorado law, even if you are facing a first DUI offense, you will still have a misdemeanor criminal record if you are convicted. If you have a history of DUIs, you could be facing felony charges. In addition, a conviction can result in steep financial and personal costs. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help you to fight the charges.
3. Request a DMV Hearing to Avoid Driver’s License Suspension
If you are arrested for a DUI, you need to act quickly when it comes to hiring an attorney and requesting a DMV hearing. In order to avoid an automatic driver’s license suspension, you will need to request a DMV hearing within 7 days of the date that you were arrested. If you fail to request a DMV hearing, your driver’s license will be suspended automatically.
Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Colorado
Were you arrested for a DUI? It is important to fight these charges with the help of a Colorado DUI defense attorney, and it is also essential to know what to do when arrested for DUI to ensure that you can build the best possible defense with your lawyer. Contact Miller Leonard, PC to learn more about how we can assist with your defense.