Will I Have to Serve Jail Time for a Colorado DUI?

March 31, 2016

When jail time usually comes into play for Colorado DUIs

When jail time usually comes into play for Colorado DUIs

Whether a Colorado DUI results in jail time will depend on a number of different factors, which we will point out and discuss below.

DUI Arrests & Jail Time

In general, the first possibility of jail time for DUIs in Colorado will come following a DUI arrest. Although not every DUI citation issued will necessarily result in an arrest and jail time, typically, individuals who are suspected of impaired driving are arrested as long as they have not been involved in a crash and require immediate medical attention.

It is, however, important to note that law enforcement officials have the discretion to make an arrest (or not) when issuing DUI citations.

An Overview of Jail Penalties for DUI Convictions in Colorado

Following an arrest, the other point at which Colorado DUI cases may result in jail time is when they end in convictions. In these situations, the amount of jail time imposed will depend on:

  • Whether the individual has prior DUIs – and, if so, how long ago those priors were incurred
  • Whether the DUI involved injuries and/or death
  • What the individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was at the time of the arrest (for first-time cases).

When no aggravating circumstances are associated with a case (i.e., the DUI does not involve an accident, injuries and/or death), the possible jail time that can be imposed for a DUI conviction is as follows:

  • 1st DUI conviction (with BACs less than 0.20) – 5 days to 1 year, with no mandatory term required
  • 1st DUI conviction (with BACs at 0.20 or higher) – 10 days to 1 year, with at least 10 days of mandatory jail time required
  • 2nd DUI conviction (if the first DUI conviction occurred more than 5 years ago) – 10 days to 1 year, with at least 10 consecutive days of jail time required – Note that jail alternatives may be a possibility in these cases.
  • 2nd conviction (within 5 years of a first DUI conviction) – 10 days to 1 year, with at least 10 consecutive days of jail time required (without the possibility for jail alternatives)
  • 3rd DUI conviction – 60 days to 1 year, with 60 consecutive days of jail time required
  • 4th DUI conviction – up to 6 years in prison (as fourth DUIs in Colorado are generally associated with felony charges).

Jail Time for Colorado DUIs: More Important Information

  • Suspended sentences – Although jail may be part of a DUI sentence in Colorado, judges have the discretion to suspend these sentences in exchange for the completion of alcohol treatment and/or DUI probation. This tends to be an option, for instance, in first-time DUI cases that don’t involve aggravating circumstances.
  • DUI probation violations – When DUIs end in convictions, probation is usually ordered as part of the sentence. Violating any probation term can result in additional jail time, as well as additional criminal charges.

Contact a Denver DUI Lawyer at the Griffin Law Firm

Have you been charged with a DUI offense in Colorado? If so, you can turn to the Denver DUI lawyer at Griffin Law Firm for experienced help and the strongest possible defense.

To receive a complete evaluation of your case, along with professional advice regarding your best defense options, contact us by calling (303) 280-1070 or by emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page.

Categories: DUI, DUI Defense, DUI Penalties, Multiple DUIs