DWI Revocation Modifications – Is DMV Easing Up?

DUI related Colorado driver’s license suspensions DUI to felony DWI (aggravated DUI)is always a point of contention for those charged with drinking and driving-related offenses. With a blood alcohol level (B.A.C.) of OVER a .08, but under a 0.17, the Department of Motor Vehicles in the State of Colorado would revoke a driver’s license for a period of 9 months. If a revoked driver chose to bypass the 9-month license revocation, the driver, after one month of no driving, could have an “Interlock device” placed in his vehicle and could drive for the remaining 8 months. If the driver complied with all of the rules and regulations set forth for use of the Interlock device, the Department of Motor Vehicles could allow the removal of the device after FOUR months of use.

If a driver’s B.A.C. was over the 0.17 level, then the driver would have to have the Interlock device on his vehicle for a period of 2 years. (I find it interesting that a B.A.C. of 0.169 would allow an 8-month interlock suspension while a B.A.C. of .170 or greater would require a 2-year Interlock use.)

Finally, in cases where a driver REFUSED to take a blood or breath test, the Department of Motor Vehicles would revoke a license for a period of ONE YEAR. This revocation would be WITHOUT any ability to make use of an interlock device. A strict one year, no driving suspension. Additionally, an additional year of no driving would be added if the driver was convicted of a 12 point DUI offense.

We now have House Bill 1168 (2012 Colo. HB. 1168), which changed what we have come to expect from the Department of Motor Vehicles and eases some of the restrictions on Colorado drivers. In Colorado, House Bill 1168 repealed and reenact, with amendments, Colorado Revised Statute, §42-2-132.5.

Now, C.R.S. §43-2-132.5 reads as follows:

§42-2-132.5. Mandatory and voluntary restricted licenses following alcohol convictions – rules. (1) Persons required to hold an interlock-restricted license. The following persons shall be required to hold an interlock-restricted license pursuant to this section for at least one year following reinstatement prior to being eligible to obtain any other driver’s license issued under this article:

(a) A person whose privilege to drive was revoked for multiple convictions for any combination of a DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, or habitual user pursuant to §42-2-125 (1) (g) (i) or (1) (i);

(b) A person whose license has been revoked for excess b.a.c. pursuant to the provisions of §42-2-126 when the person’s b.a.c. was 0.17 or more at the time of driving or within two hours after driving or whose driving record otherwise indicates a designation of a persistent drunk driver as defined in section 42-1-102 (68.5).

This would lead me to believe that the 2-year interlock device requirement has been reduced to a one year time period for those whose blood alcohol level is over a 0.170.

Next, Paragraph 2 of §43-2-132.5 has been modified as follows:

(4) Persons who may acquire an interlock-restricted license prior to serving a full-term revocation. (a) (I) A person whose privilege to drive has been revoked for one year or more because of a DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI conviction or has been revoked for one year or more for excess b.a.c. or refusal under any provision of section 42-2-126 may apply for an early reinstatement with an interlock-restricted license under the provisions of this section after the person’s privilege to drive has been revoked for one year. Except for first-time offenders as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph (a) or for persistent drunk drivers as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the restrictions imposed pursuant to this section shall remain in effect for the longer of one year or the total time period remaining on the license restraint prior to early reinstatement.

Paragraph 4 would now indicate that even if there was a refusal by a driver to take the blood or breath test, the driver could take advantage of the use of an interlock device after the person’s privilege to drive has been revoked for one year. Clearly, an easing of situations involving refusals in the state of Colorado.

The Frightening Side of Needing a DUI Lawyer

When the flashing lights turn on behind you and you know you’ve had a couple of drinks, fear sets in and the farthest thing from your mind is that you’re going to need a Denver DUI Lawyer. Most people, unless they have been through a DUI defense before, don’t realize how emotionally draining and costly this situation can be.

Going through the process can be humiliating and demoralizing. Handcuffed and riding in the back of a patrol car is just the beginning of this nightmare. The scary part is just beginning because the implications can range from losing your license, increased insurance rates, fines and having a DUI record that could affect your job or ability to find employment. These charges are serious and can have a lasting effect on your life if not handled properly.

Having an experienced DUI attorney on your side is the best decision you’ll ever make. One of the mistakes people make is to just plead out to avoid the cost of an attorney’s fees. This seems to make sense, you were driving under the influence and you want to do the right thing and face the consequences – Saving yourself both the expense and humiliation. But in the end, you won’t avoid the expense and the consequences can be far greater.

Some expenses you can expect to incur are:

  • Towing and storage costs
  • Bail
  • Defense attorney fees
  • Fines
  • Various funds (victims assistance fund)
  • Restitution
  • Alcohol evaluation fees
  • Community service supervision fee
  • Probation supervision fee
  • Drivers license testing and reinstatement fees
  • Auto insurance rate increase

The cost can be estimated at somewhere close to $8,000 or roughly $6,500 without the defense attorney fees. You’ll also have the DUI conviction on your record which as we discussed can hurt you now and in the future. DUI laws are becoming more strict and the consequences steeper especially for second and third offenses. Individuals whose employment entails some or extensive driving can face an even greater hardship if they are unable to acquire driving privileges.

When first arrested you will find yourself spending the night in jail, after your hearing they will set bail and if you’re able to make bail you will be allowed to go home until the trial date. If you are convicted you can anticipate serving at least ten days in jail and up to thirty days in some situations. Most people can not afford to miss this much time from work and the results can be unpaid time off or even job loss.

For a second and third offender, the consequences increase dramatically with increased jail time that can be up to a year or more and license suspension up to five years. A license suspension is almost always inevitable but some driving privileges might be possible with heavy restrictions. A breathalyzer device is usually attached to the car requiring the driver to breathe into the apparatus before the car will start. For second and third offenses it is smart to seek the advice of an experienced Denver DUI lawyer

If someone was injured as a result of your driving while under the influence you may need a Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer and the charges will be much more serious. In this case, it is imperative that you hire an experienced defense lawyer and do so quickly. Here is some useful information if you find yourself or a loved one in this situation. Criminal Defense Attorney Denver Co

Your experienced Denver DUI Lawyer knows your rights and even though a case may seem cut and dry there are regulations and procedures that the arresting officer and others must follow or your case can be overturned. Sometimes the best decision is to fight. Our mission is to get you off and keep your license and record intact.

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