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Drunk Driving: DUI & DWAI

Colorado Springs DUI/DWAI Defense Attorneys

Defending Against Drunk Driving Charges in El Paso County

When it comes to drunk driving offenses, a DUI or DWAI conviction can result in serious penalties in criminal courts. At The Gasper Law Group, we understand the severe consequences that driving under the influence can inflict on the lives of well-meaning individuals and their loved ones. Whether you simply weren't thinking or made an honest mistake, consulting with an experienced DUI/DWAI defense lawyer is imperative to protecting your rights and preserving your freedom in Colorado Springs. 

We also understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we're committed to ensuring that your side of the story is heard. From determining an effective defense strategy to fortifying your case with strong evidence, you can rely on our seasoned attorneys to help you navigate the legal complexities of your case while working to dismiss or reduce the charges against you. 

If you’re facing DUI or DWAI charges, securing a strong defense is crucial to protect your freedom. Call (719) 212-2448 to schedule a free consultation.

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Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) 

A DWAI offense (“driving with ability impaired”) is considered less serious than a DUI offense. Unlike the 0.08% BAC threshold for DUI offenses, DWAIs entail a BAC reading of 0.05% to 0.07%. While DUIs can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances, DWAIs are often considered misdemeanor offenses. 

However, certain exceptions can apply, as DWAI offenders with three or more drunk driving convictions can face felony charges. Unlike first-time DUIs, first-time DWAI offenses generally don’t result in license suspension, although this can apply if the defendant has four or more points on their record at the time of the offense. 

First-timeDWAIs are misdemeanors punishable by: 

  •  2 to 180 days in jail
  • $200 to $500 in fines
  • Up to 48 hours of community service
  • Up to 2 years of probation

Second DWAIs are typically considered misdemeanor offenses punishable by: 

  • A minimum of 10 days to 1 year in jail
  • $600 to $1,500 in fines
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • Up to 2 years of probation

Third-time DWAI offenders can face misdemeanor charges punishable by: 

  • A minimum of 60 days to 1 year in jail
  • $600 to $1,600 in fines
  • Up to 120 hours of community service
  • 2-4 years of probation
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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) 

Driving under the influence (“DUI”) is a serious crime that can lead to hefty fines and jail time, even for first-time offenders. A DUI offense is committed when a driver operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs. This is codified in Colorado Code § 42-4-1301, which states that a person who drives a motor vehicle or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading of 0.08 or more at the time of driving or within two hours after driving is guilty of driving under the influence. 

A criminal conviction for DUI is punishable by various penalties based on certain factors, including whether the DUI offense is a felony or a misdemeanor. In Colorado, a DUI offense can be charged as a felony when: 

  • The DUI offense resulted in vehicular homicide (Colorado Code §18-3-106)
  • The defendant has three or more prior convictions (Colorado Code § 42-4-1301)
  • The DUI offense resulted in vehicular assault or serious bodily harm (Colorado Code §18-3-205)

The penalties for drunk driving can vary widely depending on the unique factors involved. First-time offenders can face less severe consequences, such as jail time, jail, license suspension, and mandatory community service. However, drivers can face a wealth of additional penalties depending on the specific nature of the offense. 

The potential penalties for DUI include: 

  • Fines
  • Restitution
  • Jail or prison time
  • Community service
  • Driver’s license suspension/revocation
  • Court-ordered substance abuse classes/counseling
  • Restrictive probationary license programs, including ignition interlock devices and Cinderella licenses

5 Defenses Against DUI/DWAI Charges in Colorado

At The Gasper Law Group, our fierce DUI/DWAI attorneys can evaluate the unique details of your case to determine an effective legal strategy to employ on your behalf. Our firm has successfully defended against various drunk driving charges throughout Colorado Springs. 

Common defense strategies against DUIs/DWAIs include: 

  1. Challenging the legality of the traffic stop: In order for a DUI stop to be legal, law enforcement must have a justifiable reason to make the stop in the first place. This could be a traffic violation or suspicious driving behavior. If it can be proven that there was no valid reason for the stop, the case can be dismissed.
  2. Questioning the accuracy of the breathalyzer or other field sobriety tests: The accuracy of these tests can be impacted by a variety of factors, including machine malfunction, improper administration, and certain medical conditions. If there are doubts about the accuracy of the test results, they may be dismissed as evidence.
  3. Arguing the presence of a valid medical or physical condition: Certain medical or physical conditions can mimic the symptoms of intoxication, such as diabetes, neurological conditions or physical disability. If such a condition can be proven, it can provide a valid defense against DUI/DWAI charges.
  4. Proving the police officer's observations was subjective: The arresting officer's observations and judgments are a key component of a DUI/DWAI case. The defense can challenge the officer's credibility or suggest that their observations were subjective or biased.
  5. Proving that the defendant wasn't driving: If it can be proven that the defendant wasn't actually driving the vehicle at the time of the arrest, they cannot be convicted of a DUI/DWAI. This defense can be particularly effective in cases where the police did not witness the defendant driving.

Types of Drunk Driving Offenses in Colorado

From drugged driving to having one drink too many before getting behind the wheel, all it takes is one decision to find yourself facing serious criminal charges. If you were accused of driving while impaired, it’s imperative to seek strong representation as soon as possible to avoid life-altering penalties in court. 

Fortunately, our firm has extensive experience defending accused drivers in Colorado Springs and beyond. Our attorneys have a diverse knowledge of state and federal criminal laws, making us well-equipped to represent clients facing a variety of drunk driving offenses. Common cases we handle include: 

Call (719) 212-2448 to discuss your case and learn how we can defend your rights.

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