Colorado enforcement officers increase DUI patrols as school year begins

Drivers in Colorado may have been stopped for DUI and DWAI during the Labor Day weekend as enforcement efforts were increased during this time.

The end of August and beginning of September are often filled with end of the summer barbeque parties and back to school gatherings. Those partaking in these festivities should also be aware of the fact that enforcement officers are taking note. Cops throughout Colorado are responding with increased efforts to find impaired drivers.

This is not the first time Colorado has implemented a higher level of enforcement efforts during this time of year. A recent report in the Journal-Advocate notes that a similar campaign last year led to 1,321 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol, or DUI.

More on the drunk driving campaign

This particular campaign is part of the larger "Heat is On" program run throughout the state. It focuses on increase enforcement and awareness during twelve different periods throughout the year. These periods often coincide with major holidays, like the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Running a program like this is costly. As a result, Colorado's Department of Transportation provides funding to help cover the cost of overtime to officers and encourage counties to participate through state and federal grants.

Penalties tied to drunk driving convictions

Those who are charged with a DUI face serious penalties. Even a first time offense can lead to harsh consequences. Criminal and administrative penalties for DUI or DWAI convictions can include:

  • License suspension. A first offense leads to a 9 month suspension. A driver's license is suspended for one year with a second offense and for two years with a third.
  • Monetary fine. A first DWAI offense can lead to a fine ranging from $200 to $500 while a first DUI costs $600 to $1000. The fine for a second or third offense ranges from $600 - $1500.
  • Imprisonment. Even a first offense can lead to jail time. A first DWAI can come with 2 to 180 days in prison and a first DUI can lead to a sentence of five days to one year. A second offense translates to 10 days to one year while a third offense can result in 60 days to one year.

These are just a few of the penalties that can apply for a conviction.

Legal counsel can help

Those who are charged with these crimes should take the allegations seriously and be aware of the fact that defenses are available. A charge does not automatically lead to a conviction. An experienced Colorado DUI/DWAI lawyer will review the details of your case and work to better ensure that your legal rights are protected

Keywords: DUI DWAI