Did You Get a DUI at CU Boulder?

Sanctions process:

  1. OSC Receives report and assigns a conduct officer to the case

Though you may think that you’ve ‘gotten away’ with your offense as far as the University is concerned, reports can come from a number of different sources, including the Boulder Police Department, the University of Colorado Police Department and Housing and Residence Life. Once the University has received a report they will continue with the Student Conduct procedure outlined below.

  1. Conduct Officer reviews report, generates and e-mails conference notice to student

All conference notices are sent to the student's official University of Colorado e-mail account. The conference notice outlines what provision of the Student Conduct Code the student allegedly violated, instructions on scheduling a conference, information on how to obtain a report if it came from an outside agency, and their rights and responsibilities in the conference.

  1. Student schedules conference

The best way to schedule a conference is to contact the office at 303-492-5550. It’s also best to schedule a conference as soon as possible, as it will show that you are trying your best to resolve the issue.

  1. Conference

The conference is a time for the student to respond to the alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code. The thing here is the Student Conduct officers have a lot of leeway with what they decide your sanctions should be. For instance, when I was a freshman at CU, my room got in trouble for having alcohol. All 15 kids that were in my room at the time got written up, including myself. My friends held the ‘deny till you die’ view and said that they hadn’t been drinking at all that night, subsequently receiving pretty substantial sanctions. I, on the other hand, had a very nice meeting with the SC officer, and admitted that I had been drinking that night, just not in my room. The officer was so appreciative of my telling her the truth that I received half of the required classes and community service as my friends. At the end of the conference, you will have to sign a case resolution preference form, which outlines your rights and responsibilities and gives you a chance to either accept or deny the alleged violations of the student conduct code. It’s important to note, that for this conference, you have the right to have an advisor (which I highly advise). In most cases, no matter if the student accepts or denies responsibility for violating the aforementioned code, the conduct officer will continue with the conference gathering the student's recollection of the events from incident, witness statements, and any other relevant evidentiary information.

  1. Investigation/follow-up (if necessary)

After hearing your side of the story, the Office of Student Conduct will investigate the disputed case a little more. This may include contacting witnesses, police officers, business owners, and others who may have information on the incident.

  1. Student is found responsible or not responsible

Regardless of the outcome, the decision letter will be mailed to you via snail mail, so make sure you’re checking your mailbox!

  1. Sanctions assigned if student is found responsible

Sanctions may include both active and inactive sanctions. Active sanctions include, but are not limited to alcohol and/or drug education classes, CU Restorative Justice, community service, and research/reflection papers. Inactive sanctions include, but are not limited to probation, suspension, and in extreme cases, expulsion. For my case, I had to write a 2-page reflection paper on ‘what I did wrong,’ had a few hours of community service, and had to attend an alcohol education class. Based on the severity of your case, the classes can range from $75 (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) to as much as $275 (Marijuana Level II). I would research the different classes and what they offer prior to sitting down for your conduct meeting. If you can argue why a cheaper class would be more beneficial, and show that you actually did a little research on the subject, the SC officer should be relatively understanding and agree to the cheaper classes.

  1. Appeal and Stay of Sanctions

First things first, not all cases can be appealed. A case may only be appealed if the sanctions imposed included termination of residence hall contract, suspension or expulsion. The appeal must be submitted by the deadline specified in the decision letter and must comply with the other requirements of Section K of the Student Conduct code. Unless the welfare of a person or the community is threatened, all of the sanctions imposed in a case that may be appealed will not go into effect until either the deadline for filing an appeal passes and no appeal is filed or, if a timely appeal is filed, the appeal is decided, whichever comes first. If a case is not appealable, the sanctions will go into effect immediately or as otherwise stated in the decision letter. For more details about the appeals process, see section K of the Student Conduct Code.

  1. Student completes sanctions

It is the student's responsibility to complete and provide proof of completion to our office by the due date prescribed in the decision letter. No one will be checking in with you to make sure that you’re meeting deadlines, but if you don’t fulfill the obligations outlined in your sanctions letter, you can and will be slapped with way worse sanctions. The Office of Student Conduct takes these things very seriously

  1. Record Retention and Review

With the exception of cases in which the university has federally mandated reporting requirements and cases involving probation, suspension, or expulsion, records will be kept until the student has graduated from or permanently withdrawn from the university. In cases involving probation, suspension, or in which the university has federally mandated reporting requirements, the university will keep the records for seven years after the charged student graduates or permanently withdraws from the university. If a student does not return after his/her suspension period, the seven-year period will start at the end of the suspension period. In cases involving expulsion, the university will keep the records indefinitely. Every student may review, upon request, all non-confidential contents of his/her conduct file, to the extent permitted by law.

BAC limits: 
21+: DUI = 0.08% DWAI = 0.05%

DWAI 1st offense – 8 points towards license, suspension of license, $200-$500 fine, up to 180 days in jail, and up to 48 hours of community service

DUI 1st offense – License revocation for 9 months, $600-$1000 fine, up to 1 year in jail, up to 96 hours of community service, alcohol education

under 21:
Zero tolerance rule = automatic revocation for 0.02% 
Buy and possess = under 21 get caught with alcohol, get license revoked.

Express consent law = by driving in Colorado you are giving “express consent” to be administered a chemical test by breath, blood, or urine to measure BAC. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer, your license will be revoked for one year.

Cost of annual insurance increase: $3,000 
DUI classes: $650 
Towing and storage fee: $685 
Fines and attorney fees: $4,000 
DMV reinstatement fee: $100 
Estimated minimum total: $8,435* 

These fees do not include the medical and/or emotional costs to you or others if you are in an accident. In all 50 states, the legal limit for drunk driving is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08. A 120-pound female can reach this level of intoxication after only two drinks, and a 180-pound male can be at .08 after only four drinks. These numbers, however, are an average; alcohol affects every person differently. One drink may be enough to push some people over the legal limit. A “drink” is considered to be either one 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor, one 12-ounce glass of beer, or one 5-ounce glass of wine. At a .08 BAC level, drivers are so impaired that they are 11 times more likely to have a single-vehicle crash than drivers with no alcohol in their system. Although .08 is the legal limit, 25 years of research shows that some impairment begins for both males and females after only one drink. Is driving under the effect of alcohol worth the risk of getting in an accident?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


Up to 1 year (DUI), or up to 180 days (DWAI)

Up to 1 year (DUI & DWAI)

Up to 1 year (DUI & DWAI)

Fines and Penalties

Up to $1,000 (DUI), or up to $500 (DWAI)

Up to $1,500 (DUI & DWAI)

Up to $1,500 (DUI) or up to $1,000 (DWAI)

License Suspension

9 months (DUI), none of DWAI

1 year (DUI & DWAI)

2 years (DUI & DWAI)

BAIID* Required





DWAI With Previous DUI: Jail – 60 Days to 1 Year, Fine – $800 to $1,200, Public Service – 52 to 104 Hours

DUI With Previous DWAI: Jail – 70 Days to 1 Year, Fine – $900 to $1,500, Public Service – 56 to 112 Hours

a. Any student currently on university probation or suspension in abeyance who is found responsible for violating the university alcohol or drug policy is subject to suspension from the university for at least one full semester. 
b. If a student is found to be in violation of state laws or university policies governing alcohol or drugs, the student will be sanctioned according to the conduct officer’s assessment of risk. First and second offenses may include the following:

  • Parental notification
  • Community Living Class
  • Probation for one semester

Please see our website at www.colorado.edu/studentaffairs/student conduct for a complete description of sanctions. Sanctioning of alcohol and drug violations may be more severe if the incident includes any of the following aggravating factor(s): public intoxication, provision of alcohol/drugs to minors, driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs, damage to property, obstruction of a peace officer or failure to cooperate with a university official. Sanctioning may also be more severe if the violation is accompanied by other violations of the Student Conduct Code or multiple violations of the Student Conduct Code. 
c. The conduct officer has discretion to issue appropriate sanctions based on the nature of each individual case. The severity of the violation(s) will determine the level and range of the sanctions.


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Revised: May 16, 2022, 6:08 a.m.
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