Driving While Ability Impaired in Denver and Boulder, Colorado
Being stopped for suspicion of drunk driving can leave you frightened and confused about your next step.
A driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charge can adversely impact your life as well as the lives of those who rely on you. Denver DUI defense attorney Nicolas M. Geman can provide you the fair representation you deserve as you face a possible criminal record, fines, loss of driving privileges, high insurance premiums and jail time.
Difference between DUI and DWAI
In Colorado, you are not considered impaired if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) was .05 or lower. If your BAC was above .05 but below .08, there is “permissible inference” that you might have been impaired.
If your BAC registers at .08 and above, you may be charged with DUI. If your BAC is more than .05 but less than .08, you can be issued a DWAI. Although a DWAI conviction may save points on your driving record and many consider DWAI a lesser charge, it’s as serious as a DUI on your criminal record and can still lead to a suspension of driving privileges.
Penalties for first-time DWAI offenders are usually less severe than for those convicted of DUI. However, everyone convicted of a DWAI must submit to a pre-sentencing alcohol and drug evaluation, and participate in a certified alcohol/drug driving safety program.
Additional penalties, depending on whether you have prior offenses, may include:
- Community service
- Driver’s license penalty points or suspension
- Jail time
A DWAI citation is a serious alcohol offense, and if you’re confronted with DWAI charges you should contact Denver DWAI defense attorney Nicolas M. Geman at (303) 571-9772 as soon as possible. The sooner you take action, the sooner I can assess the details of your case and gather evidence to challenge aspects of the traffic stop as well as your breathalyzer or blood test results.
Factors in DWAI Cases
In addition to your BAC, there are other details that can affect the defense of your DWAI charges, including:
- Prior convictions
- The legitimacy of reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop
- Police observations noted during the traffic stop
- Conditions in which field sobriety tests, breath tests or blood tests were administered
Law enforcement officers have been known to offer to reduce a DUI charge to a DWAI in exchange for cooperation regarding information and voluntary field sobriety tests. It’s important to remember that police have no control over what happens after you have been arrested or cited.