Despite the dangers and potentially harsh penalties, there are many people in Colorado who decide to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is a crime that not only means you could face hefty fines and punishment but also endangers your life and the lives of other people. In fact, many people are injured or killed on the roads of Colorado each year, and these injuries and deaths that could have easily been prevented.
Of course, punishment for DUI offenses in the state can vary based on a range of factors. The penalties for first-time offenders are not as harsh but can still have a big impact on finances, records, life quality, and more. For those who have already been convicted of this type of offense in the past, the penalties are even harsher than they were the first time around. In this article, we will look at some key statistics and consequences of driving under the influence.
Some Key Statistics
The fatalities stemming from DUI offenses vary from one part of the state to another. These figures drawn from 2013-2019 report show the number of alcohol-related accidents for every 100,000 people:
- La Plata – 30.28
- Eagle – 16.74
- Pueblo – 15.42
- Washington – 13.85
- Mesa – 9.45
- Garfield – 8.46
- Weld – 6.02
- Larimer – 5.77
- El Paso – 2.43
- Douglas – 1.79
These are the top ten ranked out of all the counties that have more than 50,000 residents.
What Are the Consequences?
If you are convicted of a DUI in Colorado, the consequences can be dire. Of course, the penalties you receive will be based on the situation, as every case is dealt with on a case by case basis. In addition, it will depend on whether it is your first DUI offense as well as how good your DUI attorney is.
So, let’s take a look at some of the consequences you may face:
Financial Penalties and Fees
If you are convicted of a DUI offense, you face paying hefty fines as well as associated fees. The amount you have to pay can vary based on your case, but often these financial penalties are very harsh. So, you could find yourself struggling with huge debt as a result of the fines and fees that are imposed following this type of conviction.
Suspension or Revocation of License
Another thing you may have to face is the suspension of even the revocation of your license. Whether your license is suspended or whether it is revoked will depend on whether it is a first DUI offense of a subsequent one. If your license is revoked, the time period will also depend on whether it is a first or subsequent offense. Once the period is over, you will then have to go through the process of applying for your license again with revocation.
Public Service or Probation
Another penalty you may face for a DUI conviction is having to undertake public service or do probation. The amount of public service you will have to do will depend on how many DUI convictions you have had previously, and this can be from any state. In addition to performing public service, you will also have to pay fees.
Time Behind Bars
In some cases, those convicted of DUI offenses may have to serve a jail term, with the sentences varying based on whether it is a first DUI offense or not. In addition to the jail sentence, there is also a fine. For a first offense, you could serve between five days and one year behind bars with a fine of up to $1,000. For a second offense, this could be ten days to one year behind bars and a fine of up to $1,500. For a third offense, you could spend 60 days to one year in prison and be fined up to $1,500.
As a DUI offender, you will also need to undergo drug or alcohol evaluation, which you must complete as directed. There may be treatment programs that are recommended as part of this valuation, so this is something else you will have to complete.
How a DUI Conviction Can Impact Your Finances
It is important to keep in mind that a DUI conviction in Colorado could result in serious financial issues for you. Of course, you may be burdened with fines and fees to pay as a result of the DUI offense, which is bad enough. However, the financial penalties do not stop there.
For instance, when it comes to getting insurance in the future for your car, you will face hefty SR22 insurance costs. You may even find it impossible to get insurance because of your conviction. In addition, if you have a job that involves driving, you will no longer be able to do this if your license is suspended or revoked. In some cases, you may not be able to return to your job even when you get your license back.
Applying for future jobs of any sort can also become a problem, particularly if you have served jail time following your DUI conviction. All of these can have a serious impact on your finances as well as your career and quality of life.
Always Think Twice
Given the serious nature of a DUI offense and the possible penalties imposed, always think twice if you are considering getting behind the wheel while under the influence.