We all know it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence while your ability is impaired. However, sometimes a person doesn’t realize how impaired they really are, and even upstanding citizens can find themselves charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
It is easier for law officials to prove you are impaired once you have submitted to blood, breath or field sobriety tests. Blood and breath alcohol tests must follow clear guidelines to be considered valid, but if the appropriate steps are followed the results are considered highly accurate. For adults, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or over .05 (but under .08) then you are considered to be DWAI. If your BAC is at or over 0.08 percent then you are considered to be DUI. If it exceeds .20 percent, the charges have stiffer penalties.
Marijuana and certain prescribed medications can also impair your driving. In Colorado, if your blood test results reveal a reading of 5 ng/ml or higher of THC, then you are presumed to be DUI. Even prescription drugs can impair your ability to drive and can result in charges of DUI/DWAI. While there is no “limit” like there is for alcohol and marijuana, the concentration of other drug(s) in your blood along with your driving and performance on field sobriety tests will be used to determine whether you are charged with DUI/DWAI.
Charges of DUI or DWAI should not be taken lightly. Learning all that you can about your legal rights is important because these charges can greatly affect your life and livelihood. Subject to penalties from both the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the court, you could find your driver’s license revoked, leaving you no way to get to and from your employment. In addition, you could face stiff fines and penalties, which rely on your having some sort of income or means of paying them to avoid additional charges.
Your attorney may be able to help you avoid a conviction, which is instrumental to helping you overcome these charges. Even a first offense conviction could have you facing anywhere from five days to one year in jail. Having a DUI or DWAI conviction on your record is no small matter, as it stays on your record forever.
Don’t take DUI or DWAI charges lightly. Seek help immediately to try to have your charges dropped or reduced.