DUI Minimum Jail Sentences

DUI Minimum Jail Sentences

DUI and DWAI cases in Colorado require DUI minimum jail sentences in many cases. When trying to understand when these minimum jail sentences apply, two facts are the main factors to know about your case. First, if the new case is an alcohol based DUI, what was the alleged blood alcohol content? Second, do you have any prior lifetime DUI/DWAI convictions?

Blood Alcohol Content and DUI Minimum Jail SentencesFemale DUI

In Colorado, DUI Minimum Jail Sentences apply when the blood alcohol is “high” according to statute: 0.20 or higher. If the BAC is 0.20 or higher on a first offense, the law requires a person to be sentenced to at least 10 days in jail. However, if the person is working at the time, a good chance exists that those 10 days of jail can be served on in-home-detention with an ankle monitor. In home detention allows a person to go to work and medical appointments, but nowhere else. Courts can also allow a person to spend those days serving a DUI minimum jail sentence on work-release, where the person spends nights at the jail, but is allowed to leave for the day to work. The determination of whether a person is allowed either of these two alternative sentences is up to the judge. Having a good DUI defense attorney may make the difference in spending time in jail or being allowed one of these sentences that allows you to keep your job.

Prior convictions and DUI Minimum Jail Sentences

Any prior lifetime alcohol or drug driving conviction is considered a “prior offense” in Colorado, with no time cutoffs at all. So, a 20 year old DUI conviction would trigger a DUI minimum jail sentence in Colorado if charged with a new DUI/DWAI offense.

SECOND OFFENSE DUI MINIMUM JAIL SENTENCES

A second offense requires a 10 day minimum jail sentence. If the prior offense is more than five years old, the law allows alternative sentencing like in a first offense with a high blood alcohol content. The law requires a person to be sentenced to at least 10 days in jail. However, if the person is working at the time, a good chance exists that those 10 days of jail can be served on in-home-detention with an ankle monitor. In home detention allows a person to go to work and medical appointments, but nowhere else. Courts can also allow a person to spend those days serving a DUI minimum jail sentence on work-release, where the person spends nights at the jail, but is allowed to leave for the day to work. The determination of whether a person is allowed either of these two alternative sentences is up to the judge. Having a good DUI defense attorney may make the difference in spending time in jail or being allowed one of these sentences that allows you to keep your job.

However, if the prior offense is within five years of the new charge, the 10 day minimum jail sentence must be served in jail, as 10 consecutive days without any time off for good behavior.

THIRD OR MORE OFFENSE DUI MINIMUM JAIL SENTENCES

A third offense requires a 60 day minimum jail sentence. However, many judges and prosecutors will want far more jail time under a plea agreement or if you are convicted at trial. Once a person has is facing his fourth conviction, he should expect the judge to sentence him to the full 365 days in jail. Time off for good behavior does not apply to the first 60 days of such a jail sentence and must be served as consecutive days in jail.

This is why many people decide to go to trial when facing a DUI charge with three or more prior DUI convictions. The minimum jail sentence is enough to cause a person to lose their job and possibly their home, so trial becomes the only way to have a chance of keeping the DUI case from starting their life over when they are released from jail.

Categories:

Start Your Defense Today

Schedule Your Free Initial Case Evaluation
    • Please enter your first name.
    • Please enter your last name.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.