Nestled near the Front Range of the Rockies, Greenwood Village is a beautiful place to live. Residents of the Village get to enjoy the fresh mountain air of Colorado through free outdoor Concerts at the Crescent, art classes, park programs, and much more. With so many activities happening around town, the Greenwood Village Police Department is tasked with patrolling the streets to make sure our citizens stay safe. Unfortunately, it’s possible that you may find yourself stopped by a police officer and charged with a DUI after enjoying one of the events, restaurants, or taverns around town. If you feel you’ve been unfairly arrested for a DUI, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and fight the charges against you.
What is a DUI?
DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, is a serious offense. In order for a person to be convicted of a DUI, he or she must have 1) been driving a vehicle and 2) been under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a degree which affected his or her ability to drive safely.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measurements help determine whether or not a person has consumed too much alcohol to drive safely. In Colorado, a BAC of .08 percent or more can result in a DUI charge. Having a BAC of between .05 percent and .08 percent, however, can also result in a charge known as DWAI, or Driving While Ability is Impaired.
When Can Someone Be Charged with a DUI?
Colorado has an “express consent” law, which states that by operating a motor vehicle in Colorado, you automatically express consent to be given a chemical test to measure blood alcohol concentration. If you refuse to take a BAC test that has been required by a police officer, your license can be revoked for one year.
Law enforcement officers cannot simply pull over and stop just anyone, however. The officer must have a justifiable cause for stopping your vehicle; whether it’s speeding, erratic driving, or a broken headlight, there must be a reason for the traffic stop. One exception to this is a sobriety checkpoint, where officers set up a roadblock and stop all drivers passing through. Although these checkpoints are legal, they must be publicized ahead of time.
If an officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a traffic stop or sobriety checkpoint, he or she can place you under arrest for DUI.
What are the penalties for a DUI?
The penalties for DUI and DWAI charges can be severe, and they increase with each offense. Repeat offenders may even be required to install an ignition interlock device on their car, which prevents the car from being started if it detects alcohol on the driver’s breath.
A first offense DWAI conviction can result in eight points towards license suspension, a fine of between $200 and $500, up to 180 days in jail, and up to 48 hours of community service.
A first offense DUI conviction can result in having your driver’s license revoked for nine months, a fine of between $600 and $1000, up to a year in jail, up to 96 hours of community service, and required alcohol education classes.
Being convicted of a DUI can be devastating to your finances, work, and personal life. On top of potential fines, you may also have to deal with costs from your vehicle being towed, increases in insurance fees, or even lost income from being away from work. It’s in your best interest to fight a DUI charge if you believe the arresting officer made a mistake.
I’ve Been Charged with a DUI; Now What?
If an officer stops your vehicle and suspects that you have been drinking, he or she will likely ask you to attempt a roadside sobriety test. These tests could include standing on one leg, walking a straight line, or answering certain questions. If you fail a sobriety test, the officer will likely place you under arrest and take you to the city or county jail. At this point, your vehicle will be towed and impounded.
The most important thing to remember at all times during your arrest is that you have the right to remain silent. Trying to talk your way out of the arrest will likely only make matters worse, as anything you say could be used to prove the case against you.
The next most important thing you can do is call the attorneys at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara. Our lawyers are dedicated to criminal defense and will work to turn the tide in your favor.
How Can I Fight a DUI Charge?
In order for you to be convicted of a DUI, it must be proven that you were both driving a vehicle and under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Oftentimes, DUI arrests are made based on assumptions by the arresting officer. The officer may assume that your bloodshot eyes or slurred speech is a result of alcohol when, in fact, they are only due to allergies or drowsiness. Even breathalyzers are not foolproof ways of proving drunkenness; for example, it can be possible for mouthwash to skew the results of a breathalyzer. Furthermore, if the officer did not have a justifiable reason to stop your vehicle, the DUI charge could be thrown out completely.
Even if you believe you are guilty of driving under the influence, it’s important for you to contact an experienced lawyer to represent you. A skilled professional can help minimize the penalties you may receive and guide you through the legal processes so you know your rights are protected.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara will work with you to cover all of your bases and make sure you are fairly represented during your day in court. If you have been charged with a DUI in Greenwood Village, CO, you can’t afford to not fight the charge. Call our office today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can represent you in your DUI case.