Per se laws in Denver, like many other cities in the USA, can lead you to face stringent charges in court. If your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) is higher than 0.8 percent for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or 0.5 percent for Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), there are a number of criminal and administrative penalties that you might have to encounter depending on your degree of offense. The penalties can range from fines and imprisonment to public service.

Express your consent

In Denver, if you’re asked by a police officer to test for alcohol or drugs, you are lawfully required to consent to it. If you refuse to cooperate, your license will be suspended for 1 year for the first offense, 2 years for the second, and 3 years for the third. It is usually advisable to take the test when you’re arrested for DUI. In fact, in the city of Denver, it is best to consent to the preliminary breath test even if you haven’t been arrested.

Penalties and license suspension

If you’re arrested for DUI in Denver, your license is revoked for the first week after arrest. You can, however, request a hearing with the Colorado Department of Revenue to reinstate your driving rights. For both DUI and DWAI offenses, jail time of up to one year is enforced, depending on the case.

For your first DUI offense, you will have to face jail time of up to one year along with a $1,000 fine, and your license will be suspended for 9 months. In the second DUI or DWAI offense, your license will be suspended for a year, with a year’s time in jail and $1,500 in fine.

For the third offense, your license will be suspended for two years, you will have to pay fines of $1,000 for DWAI and $1,500 for DUI, and you must face jail time of up to one year. 

Some common DUI tests

Blood and breath (breathalyzer) tests are the most prominent ways to determine if you’re DUI or DWAI. There are, however, other ways to find out if you’re under the influence, such as saliva and urine tests.

The breathalyzer test assumes that the alcohol concentration in your breath is comparable to that in your blood. In the test, you must first blow air into the mouthpiece of the device which will then calculate your level of blood alcohol after a series of chemical reactions. Many times, the breathalyzer results may not be accurate. The device could show completely erroneous results for people with different metabolism rates. In these cases, a sample of blood is taken for analysis.

Although a blood sample can give a more accurate account of the blood alcohol level, it can be prone to major discrepancies too. Fermentation of blood, coagulation, sterilization problems, and refrigeration issues could lead to incorrect BAC calculation.

Get help

Even if the tests results show that your level of blood alcohol is high, you can minimize your charges if you consult with the right DUI defense attorney in Denver Richard B. Huttner, an expert in the DUI practice area, can spot the errors in a blood or breath test and bring your penalties to a minimum with his experience.