New DUI Penalties (2015)

Colorado DUI & DWAI Law: Consequences for Drunk Driving Crimes

DUI or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (including DWAI & DUID), is a misdemeanor, but it is a class 4 felony if the violation occurred after three or more prior convictions, arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, for DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI; vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, or any combination thereof.

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First offenses - DUI and DUI per se

Imprisonment in the county jail for at least five days but no more than one year, the minimum period of which shall be mandatory; except that the court may suspend the mandatory minimum period if, as a condition of the suspended sentence, the offender undergoes a presentence or postsentence alcohol and drug evaluation and satisfactorily completes and meets all financial obligations of a level I or level II program as is determined to be appropriate by the alcohol and drug evaluation that is required pursuant to section 42-4-1301.3; a fine of at least six hundred dollars but no more than one thousand dollars, and the court shall have discretion to suspend the fine; and at least forty-eight hours but no more than ninety-six hours of useful public service, and the court shall not have discretion to suspend the mandatory minimum period of performance of such service.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), and except as described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (5) and paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of this section, a person who is convicted of DUI or DUI per se when the person's BAC was 0.20 or more at the time of driving or within two hours after driving shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for at least ten days but not more than one year; except that the court shall have the discretion to employ the sentencing alternatives described in section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S.

In addition to any penalty described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), the court may impose a period of probation that shall not exceed two years, which probation may include any conditions permitted by law.

First offenses - DWAI

Imprisonment in the county jail for at least two days but no more than one hundred eighty days, the minimum period of which shall be mandatory; except that the court may suspend the mandatory minimum period if, as a condition of the suspended sentence, the offender undergoes a presentence or postsentence alcohol and drug evaluation and satisfactorily completes and meets all financial obligations of a level I or level II program as is determined to be appropriate by the alcohol and drug evaluation that is required pursuant to section 42-4-1301.3; and a fine of at least two hundred dollars but no more than five hundred dollars, and the court shall have discretion to suspend the fine; and at least twenty-four hours but no more than forty-eight hours of useful public service, and the court shall not have discretion to suspend the mandatory minimum period of performance of such service.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (4), and except as described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (5) and paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of this section, a person who is convicted of DWAI when the person's BAC was 0.20 or more at the time of driving or within two hours after driving shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for at least ten days but not more than one year; except that the court shall have the discretion to employ the sentencing alternatives described in section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S.

In addition to any penalty described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (4), the court may impose a period of probation that shall not exceed two years, which probation may include any conditions permitted by law.

Second offenses

Imprisonment in the county jail for at least ten consecutive days but no more than one year; except that the court shall have discretion to employ the sentencing alternatives described in section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S. During the mandatory ten-day period of imprisonment, the person shall not be eligible for earned time or good time pursuant to section 17-26-109, C.R.S., or for trusty prisoner status pursuant to section 17-26-115, C.R.S.; except that the person shall receive credit for any time that he or she served in custody for the violation prior to his or her conviction. A fine of at least six hundred dollars but no more than one thousand five hundred dollars, and the court shall have discretion to suspend the fine; at least forty-eight hours but no more than one hundred twenty hours of useful public service, and the court shall not have discretion to suspend the mandatory minimum period of performance of the service; and a period of probation of at least two years, which period shall begin immediately upon the commencement of any part of the sentence that is imposed upon the person pursuant to this section, and a suspended sentence of imprisonment in the county jail for one year, as described in subsection (7) of this section; except that the court shall not sentence the defendant to probation if the defendant is sentenced to the department of corrections but shall still sentence the defendant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of this section. The defendant shall complete all court-ordered programs pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of this section before the completion of his or her period of parole.

If a person is convicted of DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI and the violation occurred less than five years after the date of a previous violation for which the person was convicted of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, vehicular homicide pursuant to section 18-3-106 (1) (b), C.R.S., vehicular assault pursuant to section 18-3-205 (1) (b), C.R.S., aggravated driving with a revoked license pursuant to section 42-2-206 (1) (b) (I) (A) or (1) (b) (I) (B), as that crime existed before August 5, 2015, or driving while the person's driver's license was under restraint pursuant to section 42-2-138 (1) (d), the court does not have discretion to employ any sentencing alternatives described in section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S., during the minimum period of imprisonment described in subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (5); except that a court may allow the person to participate in a program pursuant to section 18-1.3-106 (1) (a) (II), (1) (a) (IV), or (1) (a) (V), C.R.S., only if the program is available through the county in which the person is imprisoned and only for the purpose of: Continuing a position of employment that the person held at the time of sentencing for said violation; Continuing attendance at an educational institution at which the person was enrolled at the time of sentencing for said violation; or Participating in a court-ordered level II alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program, as described in section 42-4-1301.3 (3) (c) (IV).

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1.3-106 (12), C.R.S., if, pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection (5), a court allows a person to participate in a program pursuant to section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S., the person shall not receive one day credit against his or her sentence for each day spent in such a program, as provided in said section 18-1.3-106 (12), C.R.S.

Third and subsequent offenses

Imprisonment in the county jail for at least sixty consecutive days but no more than one year. During the mandatory sixty-day period of imprisonment, the person shall not be eligible for earned time or good time pursuant to section 17-26-109, C.R.S., or for trusty prisoner status pursuant to section 17-26-115, C.R.S.; except that a person shall receive credit for any time that he or she served in custody for the violation prior to his or her conviction. During the mandatory period of imprisonment, the court shall not have any discretion to employ any sentencing alternatives described in section 18-1.3-106, C.R.S.; except that the person may participate in a program pursuant to section 18-1.3-106 (1) (a) (II), (1) (a) (IV), or (1) (a) (V), C.R.S., only if the program is available through the county in which the person is imprisoned and only for the purpose of: continuing a position of employment that the person held at the time of sentencing for said violation; continuing attendance at an educational institution at which the person was enrolled at the time of sentencing for said violation; or Participating in a court-ordered level II alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program, as described in section 42-4-1301.3 (3) (c) (IV); a fine of at least six hundred dollars but no more than one thousand five hundred dollars, and the court shall have discretion to suspend the fine; at least forty-eight hours but no more than one hundred twenty hours of useful public service, and the court shall not have discretion to suspend the mandatory minimum period of performance of the service; and a period of probation of at least two years, which period shall begin immediately upon the commencement of any part of the sentence that is imposed upon the person pursuant to this section, and a suspended sentence of imprisonment in the county jail for one year, as described in subsection (7) of this section; except that the court shall not sentence the defendant to probation if the defendant is sentenced to the department of corrections, but shall still sentence the defendant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of this section. The defendant shall complete all court-ordered programs pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of this section before the completion of his or her period of parole.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1.3-106 (12), C.R.S., if, pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (6), a court allows a person to participate in a program pursuant to section 18-1.3-106 (1) (a) (II), (1) (a) (IV), or (1) (a) (V), C.R.S., the person shall not receive one day credit against his or her sentence for each day spent in such a program, as provided in said section 18-1.3-106 (12), C.R.S.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the defendant satisfies the conditions described in subparagraphs (I) and (II) of this paragraph (c), the court may include as a condition of probation a requirement that the defendant participate in alcohol treatment. If the defendant's assessed treatment need is for residential treatment, the court may make residential alcohol treatment a condition of probation and may place the offender in a community corrections program that can provide the appropriate level of treatment. This paragraph (c) applies only if: at the time of sentencing, the person has two prior convictions of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, vehicular homicide pursuant to section 18-3-106 (1) (b), C.R.S., or vehicular assault pursuant to section 18-3-205 (1) (b), C.R.S.; and the first of the person's two prior convictions was based on a violation that occurred not more than seven years before the violation for which the person is being sentenced.

Probation-related penalties

When a person is sentenced to a period of probation pursuant to subparagraph (IV) of paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of this section or subparagraph (IV) of paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of this section: The court shall impose a sentence to one year of imprisonment in the county jail, which sentence shall be suspended, and against which sentence the person shall not receive credit for any period of imprisonment to which he or she is sentenced pursuant to subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of this section or subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of this section;

The court:Shall include, as a condition of the person's probation, a requirement that the person complete a level II alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program, as described in section 42-4-1301.3 (3) (c) (IV), at the person's own expense; May impose an additional period of probation for the purpose of monitoring the person or ensuring that the person continues to receive court-ordered alcohol or substance abuse treatment, which additional period shall not exceed two years; May require that the person commence the alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program described in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) during any period of imprisonment to which the person is sentenced; May require the person to appear before the court at any time during the person's period of probation; May require the person to use an approved ignition interlock device during the period of probation at the person's own expense; May require the person to submit to continuous alcohol monitoring using such technology or devices as are available to the court for such purpose; and May impose such additional conditions of probation as may be permitted by law.

The court may impose all or part of the suspended sentence described in subparagraph (IV) of paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of this section or subparagraph (IV) of paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of this section at any time during the period of probation if the person violates a condition of his or her probation. During the period of imprisonment, the person shall continue serving the probation sentence with no reduction in time for the sentence to probation. A cumulative period of imprisonment imposed pursuant to this paragraph (c) shall not exceed one year. In imposing a sentence of imprisonment pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (7), the court shall consider the nature of the violation, the report or testimony of the probation department, the impact on public safety, the progress of the person in any court-ordered alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program, and any other information that may assist the court in promoting the person's compliance with the conditions of his or her probation.

Any imprisonment imposed upon a person by the court pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (7) must be imposed in a manner that promotes the person's compliance with the conditions of his or her probation and not merely as a punitive measure.

Additional costs and surcharges

In addition to the penalties prescribed in this section:Persons convicted of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, and UDD are subject to the costs imposed by section 24-4.1-119 (1) (c), C.R.S., relating to the crime victim compensation fund; Persons convicted of DUI, DUI per se, and DWAI are subject to a surcharge of at least one hundred dollars but no more than five hundred dollars to fund programs to reduce the number of persistent drunk drivers. The surcharge shall be mandatory, and the court shall not have discretion to suspend or waive the surcharge; except that the court may suspend or waive the surcharge if the court determines that a person is indigent. Moneys collected for the surcharge shall be transmitted to the state treasurer, who shall credit the amount collected to the persistent drunk driver cash fund created in section 42-3-303. Persons convicted of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, and UDD are subject to a surcharge of twenty dollars to be transmitted to the state treasurer who shall deposit moneys collected for the surcharge in the Colorado traumatic brain injury trust fund created pursuant to section 26-1-309, C.R.S.; Persons convicted of DUI, DUI per se, and DWAI are subject to a surcharge of at least one dollar but no more than ten dollars for programs to fund efforts to address alcohol and substance abuse problems among persons in rural areas. The surcharge shall be mandatory, and the court shall not have discretion to suspend or waive the surcharge; except that the court may suspend or waive the surcharge if the court determines that a person is indigent. Any moneys collected for the surcharge shall be transmitted to the state treasurer, who shall credit the same to the rural alcohol and substance abuse cash fund created in section 27-80-117 (3), C.R.S.

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