DUI and DWAI

Colorado law prohibits individuals who are voluntarily under the influence or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, including prescription drugs, from operating a motor vehicle in the state. Most people are familiar with the commonly used term DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated.  While DWI is used to describe a drinking and driving offense in various states, it is not a term used in Colorado. Instead, Colorado uses the terms Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), and Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUI-D).

An individual can be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), when he is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle. A blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more gives rise to the permissible inference Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

An individual can be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) when, if even to the slightest degree, the person is less able than he ordinarily would be, either mentally or physically, or both, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.  A blood alcohol content in excess of 0.05 but less than 0.08 gives rise to the permissible inference of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

Everyone convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) must submit to an alcohol/drug evaluation, participate in a certified alcohol/drug program for at least twelve (12) hours, perform at least twenty-four (24) hours of community service, and also pay a fine, court costs, and additional surcharges. There may also be other requirements, such as completion of a victim impact panel, for example Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  Incarceration may also be imposed, but will depend on a number of factors, including whether aggravating circumstances are present, the individual's prior criminal history and driving record, the age of the offender, and the blood alcohol level.  In cases where the blood alcohol level is 0.20 or greater, there is minimum mandatory ten (10) day jail sentence. There are various sentencing alternatives that a judge may impose in lieu of a straight county jail sentence.

In addition to dealing with a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and/or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) charge in court, every individual who has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater will face a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) hearing pursuant to Colorado’s Express Consent law. In most instances, certain action must be taken immediately to ensure that the right to contest a revocation is not compromised.  It is very important to contact a qualified attorney immediately after receiving a summons for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and/or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

Click below to read the official Colorado statutory definitions for these offenses:

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Drugs, or Both (DUI / DUI-D), and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) (42-4-1301)

  • In various cases, Alexander Garlin obtained voluntary dismissals or reduced pleas to non-alcohol related traffic offenses in cases where their clients were charged with DUI / Driving Under the Influence, DUI-D / Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, or DWAI / Driving While Ability Impaired.
  • Alexander Garlin obtained a voluntary dismissal in a Boulder County case where their client was charged with Driving Under the Influence after comprehensive defense investigation and an oral presentation proved that their client, who was out with friends, was forced to drive home by her physically abusive boyfriend who, it was later learned, was a professional boxer.
  • At a hearing for a Motion to Suppress in a DUI / Driving Under the Influence case, Alexander Garlin won a suppression order after the judge determined that the evidence provided by his client to the investigating police officer was done so involuntarily.  After the ruling, which excluded most of the prosecution’s evidence from presentation at trial, the Boulder District Attorney dismissed the case in its entirety.
  • Alexander Garlin has obtained a number of Not Guilty jury verdicts in  DUI / Driving Under the Influence, DUI-D / Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, and DWAI / Driving While Ability Impaired cases where the evidence ranged from poor driving, odor of alcoholic beverage, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, failure of roadside sobriety tests, and breath or blood tests above the legal limit.

Alexander Garlin has experience in providing criminal defense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), and Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUI-D) charges, as well as related criminal charges, such as administrative hearings relating to driver's license suspensions, revocations, and other hearings involving potential loss of driver's license and/or securing of a probationary driver's license.  Whether you contact Garlin Driscoll, LLC, or other qualified attorneys, we recommend that you do so without delay so that you can better understand your circumstances, and thereby promote informed decision making that could significantly improve the ultimate outcome of your case.

The criminal defense attorneys at Garlin Driscoll, LLC, welcome your inquiry and do not charge for initial telephone, e-mail and/or office consultations.

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Garlin Driscoll, LLC

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