Colorado is one of the few states that penalizes drivers with a blood alcohol content below 0.08%. The threshold for a driving while ability impaired charge is just 0.05% and carries most of the same penalties as a charge of driving under the influence (0.08% threshold).

Learn more about the potential legal consequences for each of these charges.

Initial DWAI or DUI conviction

Both DWAI and DUI carry mandatory minimum jail time–two to 180 days for the former and five to 365 days for the latter. Fines for DWAI range from $200 to $500, compared to $600 to $1,000 for DUI. Community service requirements of 24 to 48 hours for DWAI double for DUI. Both charges result in a nine-month license suspension. Upon reinstatement, the driver must obtain an ignition interlock device for eight months at his or her own expense.

Subsequent convictions 

After the first DWAI or DUI, the court imposes identical penalties regardless of BAC. A second conviction within five years of the first results in 10 days to one year in jail, fines of $600 to $1,500, 48 to 120 hours of community service, and a one-year license suspension. The IID requirement extends to between two and five years. A third conviction carries a mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail. In addition, the driver will lose his or her license indefinitely.

Extenuating circumstances

Colorado drivers may also receive enhanced penalties under certain circumstances. These include:

  • A charge of reckless driving
  • Bodily injury to another person
  • Breath test refusal

The court imposes penalties for these offenses on top of the above DUI or DWAI penalties. For example, refusing a breath test will extend your driver’s license revocation period for an additional year.

Keep in mind that you can receive a DUI without operating the vehicle. Charges can result even if you are only behind the wheel but not moving while intoxicated.