Everything You Need to Know About a DUI Charge

Below are some common DUI FAQ's to help you get started on the legal process involved with your conviction.

What Do I Do Now?

We've compiled a list of what to expect throughout the DUI process, and what your next steps should be. Some aspects of a DUI require action within 7 days of getting an arrest, so be sure you fully understand what's expected of you from the state.


How Much Will My DUI Cost?

The first question nearly everyone asks is, how much is my DUI going to cost me? Due to differences in insurance plans, attorney fees, and sentencing, it's impossible to tell you exactly how much your DUI will cost, but you should expect to pay around $7,500 to $10,000. However, some legal representation to contest the DUI criminal charge can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000, depending on the rigor and complexity of the defense. A full breakdown of costs is below:


Minimum Fine: $300
Auto Insurance Increase: $3,600 to $6,000
Penalty Assessment: $600
State Restitution Fund: $100
Alcohol-abuse Education Fund: $50
Blood/breath Testing Fee: $37
Probation Fee: $50/mo
Jail-Cite-and-Release Form: $10
Varying Treatment Programs: $150-$2,000
License Reissue Fee: $95
Ignition Interlock Installation and Monthly Fees: $1,000
Probationary Testing Fee: ~$10-$30 per test
Opportunity Cost From Missing Work: Varies
Attorney Fees: Varies


How Long Will The DUI Stay On My Record?

In all states, a first offense DUI must stay on your record for at least five years. In Colorado though, prior DUI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI offense) for good.


Can I Challenge The License Suspension?

Yes, and you should! In Colorado, you must request a DMV hearing within 7 days of your initial arrest. The DMV will then schedule an appointment 45-60 days later and provide you with a temporary license until the hearing. If nothing else, this buys you some extra driving time before they suspend your license for several months. License suspension hearings are difficult to "win," but some angles you may want to take include:

-Discuss the specifics of your case: try to find aspects of your case that will show you weren't entirely in the wrong. -Argue hardship: if you must drive to get to work, or if driving is an aspect of your job, let the hearing officer know that losing your license could mean losing your job as well. -Discuss new driving habits: While you have your temporary license, make some changes in your driving habits and show the hearing officer that you've turned yourself into a safer person on the road. During the hearing, the officer must try to prove to the officer hearing that:

1. They had probable cause to stop you.
2. They had probable cause to arrest you.
3. The breath/blood sample was taken from you legally and following protocol.
4. The blood test was accurate.
5. Your result was 0.08 or higher, and
6. You were properly advised of the law by the police officer. If the officer fails to prove any of the above, it is grounds to get your revocation dismissed.


What Are The BAC Limits In Colorado?

"Per Se" BAC Limit: 0.08% Zero Tolerance (underage) BAC limit: 0.02% Enhanced penalty (aggravated) BAC limit: 0.17%


What Happens If I Got My DUI Charge In Another State?

The short answer is, you'll most likely receive your sentencing from Colorado courts. Most states, including Colorado, are members of the Drivers' License Compact (a.k.a. DLC). The DLC is an interstate compact that allows for the exchange of information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to their home state. The only exceptions to the DLC are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, but there are other ways for states to get your DUI information other than the DLC (i.e. Non-Resident Violator Compact).


Can I Be Arrested For A DUI Even Though I Wasn't Driving?

Yes, technically you can. If you were behind the wheel of the car, with the keys in the ignition, the police can charge you with DUI. You do not have to be driving the vehicle; you merely have to be in physical control of it for charges to hold up in court.


If you found this article helpful check out the following resources:

What To Do At DUI Checkpoints

Do I Need An Attorney For My DUI?

Tips to Win Your DUI Case

DUID (Marijuana) In Colorado FAQ

Need advice?
Revised: May 16, 2022, 6:56 a.m.
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