Many people are aware that a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge means you drove a car with a BAC of .08 or above. However, you might be surprised to find out that you can suffer some of the same penalties even if you drive with a BAC (blood alcohol content) below the set legal limit of .08.
DUI and DWAI Differences
A DUI is a misdemeanor offense and a punishment can mean up to a year in jail, supervised probation, and $1000 in fines. Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) is considered a lesser charge and means you are driving with a BAC between .05 and .08. A DWAI is still a misdemeanor offense and considered an alcohol related driving offense similar to a DUI charge-even if you only had a couple drinks. If you are convicted of a DWAI you could still serve a jail sentence of 180 days, probation, 24-48 hours of community service, and $500 in fines.
It is also important to keep in mind that jail sentences and probation terms increase if you have prior charges for alcohol related driving offenses (both DUI and DWAI). For example, a third conviction for DUI or DWAI will result in a mandatory jail sentence.
What’s the Benefit of Being Charged with the Lesser Offense of DWAI?
Generally, if you are pulled over and charged with a DWAI you have a good chance of keeping your driver’s license because only 8 points are assessed to your driving record. A DUI charge results in 12 points assessed to your driving record, which is the maximum number of points allowed, and causes a suspension of your driver’s license. A DUI charge could also result in a 24-month license suspension depending on your, BAC, prior offenses, and driving record.
The Colorado DMV operates separately from the court and many factors are involved with both DUI and DWAI consequences.
Contact Denver DUI and DWAI Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you are arrested for a DUI, DWAI, or traffic offense, call the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara. Our attorneys handle DUI and DWAI cases in Denver, Aurora, and Arapahoe, Jefferson, Douglas, El Paso, Adams and Larimer counties. We are experts in DUI cases and have received criminal defense awards and recognition for our work in this field. You don’t have to fight these charges alone. Call Denver’s DUI attorneys at 720-379-8262 and we will fight for your freedom and rights.