What is the Difference Between DUI and DWAI in Colorado?

What is the Difference Between DUI and DWAI in Colorado?

In most states, when a driver is pulled over and found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, he or she will be arrested and charged with DUI. DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. It means the point at which the law has deemed a driver unable to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner.

DWAI vs DUI in Colorado

DUI happens when a driver's BAC is higher than the legal limit. DUI holds higher penalties than DWAI, which is when a driver is impaired but not above the legal BAC limit.

What Does DWAI Mean?

In the state of Colorado there is an additional, albeit slightly lesser, drunk driving charge that can be filed against individuals who have been found with a BAC between 0.05% and 0.08%. In cases such as this the driver would be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

Whether you pass or fail sobriety tests the determination that is used to file DUI and DWAI charges lies solely in your BAC level. In addition, it is important to note that an individual facing DWAI charges could find him- or herself facing DUI charges instead, if he or she refuses to submit to blood/breath tests.

Both DUI and DWAI charges will require that a driver request and attend a DMV hearing. The penalties associated with a first-time DUI conviction can include up to 1 year in jail, 96 hours of public service, fines and fees upwards of $1000, the completion of a drug or alcohol education course, court-ordered therapy and the potential suspension of your driver's license. A first-time DWAI conviction will mean between 48 hours and 6 months in jail, 24-48 hours of public service, eight points being added to your driver's license record, and fines between $200 and $500. Penalties will be increased for multiple offenses and in cases where a DUI or DWAI-related accident results in serious injuries or a fatality. At the very least, a skilled Denver DUI attorney from our firm may be able to assist you in being able to maintain your driving privileges and possibly have your jail sentence amended to allow for supervision probation instead.

We understand the impact a DUI or DWAI arrest, much less a conviction, could have on your ability to live your life and provide for yourself and your family. We also understand that both a DUI and a DWAI conviction will go on your permanent criminal record thus marring your reputation and making it more difficult for you to pursue your personal and professional objectives. It is for that reason you can count on us to work aggressively to provide you with a strong defense strategy geared to help you fight the charges you face and ultimately have them dismissed, reduced or fight for an acquittal. To obtain legal assistance to fight DUI or DWAI charges, contact the Law Office of Christopher H. Cessna today.