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Get to know Colorado's DUI laws

Colorado is a state that is often at the forefront of change, but that doesn't mean that it lets anything happen within its borders. Colorado actually has fairly strict DUI laws that could result in harsh penalties for you or those you love if you drink and drive.

Colorado, like most of the rest of the United States, has a per se limit of .08% blood alcohol content. If you have a BAC of .08% or greater, then you can be convicted of a DUI without any further evidence. If your BAC is .17% or higher, then you may face aggravated DUI penalties, which are even more serious.

What happens upon a DUI conviction?

If you are convicted of a DUI, you may lose your license immediately. A first-time offense can lead to a 9-month license suspension, while subsequent offenses can lead to longer suspensions.

If you refuse to take the Breathalyzer test requested by the authorities, then you may be asked to install an ignition interlock device (IID). You may also lose your license for up to one year for violating the expressed consent law (implied consent).

How does an ignition interlock device work?

Colorado's laws require that the IID takes a breath sample before you can start your vehicle. Then, you need to blow into the machine at select intervals while driving. If your BAC is elevated at any time, the vehicle may not start.

Ignition interlock devices are mandatory if you have been convicted of a second-offense DUI.

Can your vehicle be confiscated by the police if you're accused of a DUI?

No, vehicle confiscation is not allowed in Colorado, although someone else may need to come to collect it.

Do you have to go through alcohol education or treatment after a DUI?

You may be required to attend mandatory alcohol education, treatment and assessment after you receive a conviction for a DUI, even if it's your first offense.

Does Colorado have zero-tolerance laws?

Yes, Colorado does have a zero-tolerance law. This law is enforced for drivers under the age of 21 when their blood alcohol content is .02% to .05%. There are exceptions to the rule, so if you or your child are facing zero-tolerance violations, then you may want to look into your rights.

Colorado is strict on drunk driving, because the laws are there to keep people safe. If you're accused of a DUI, you should take steps to defend yourself.

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