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How do DUI and DWAI differ in Colorado?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense

When dealing with criminal charges, one of the most important details for an accused individual to know is the exact charges that he or she is facing. Some allegations can seem similar, such as DUI or DWI, but in fact, they could mean two different things depending on state law. Additionally, those different charges could come with different possible penalties, which are also essential to understand as one prepares a criminal defense strategy.

When it comes to allegations for drunk or drugged driving in Colorado, two types of charges are common, including:

  • DUI: DUI could include driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and an officer could place a driver under arrest after a test shows the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level at .08% or higher.
  • DWAI: DWAI stands for driving while ability impaired, and for an officer to make an arrest, a driver’s blood alcohol concentration level would only need to exceed .05%. Observed impaired behavior could also contribute to an arrest.

Though these charges seem similar, the outcomes of a person’s situation could vary widely depending on which of these two allegations he or she faces. As a result, it is crucial to understand which charge has been brought and whether the officer collected proper evidence to warrant the allegation. Additionally, some physical evidence obtained by an officer for a DUI or DWAI charge, such as breath test or field sobriety test results, could be challenged in court.

If Colorado residents have found themselves in this type of predicament, it can certainly seem confusing and overwhelming. However, even if parties are facing DUI or DWAI charges, they still have hope and opportunity to defend against those charges. Gaining information on their available legal options may be useful to them.