Fort Collins DUI Defense

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DUI Defense Attorney in Ft. Collins, Colorado

Conviction for drunk driving will come with an estimated cost of at least $10,000, license suspension, possible jail time, mandatory treatment, the possibility of job loss or the inability to work in certain professions, and exposure to serious criminal penalties for future arrests, which are likely because of increased targeting by law enforcement as a result of being a convicted DUI offender. 

As veteran Fort Collins drunk driving defense attorneys, we are not trying to scare you. But we believe motorists should know what they are up against from the start. Drunk driving is the most common serious criminal charge filed in Colorado and generates the bulk of the revenue for most municipal court systems. 

Law enforcement hopes you pay the fines and fees and attempt to move one. We hope you keep reading and then pick up the phone for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 

Drunk Driving Defense in Colorado 

The number of motorists arrested for driving under the influence continues to increase, despite every evidence that such motorists represent a waning risk on the nation’s roads. In Colorado, more than 20,000 drivers are arrested each year. 

Many are surprised to learn that the state has adopted a number of scenarios to arrest and charge you even if your blood alcohol level is below the nationwide legal limit of .08.

  • DWAI (Driving with Ability Impaired): BAC exceeding 0.05 (but less than 0.08).
  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence): Defendant's BAC is 0.08 or more. Subject to greater penalties if the test shows a blood alcohol level of at least 0.15 (persistent drunk driver). 
  • DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs): Defendant's blood contains 5 nanograms or more of delta-9 THC (the active substance in some marijuana products) per milliliter in whole blood. 
  • UDD (Underage Drunk Driving): For those under the age of 21, the legal limit is just .02.

Drunk Driving Criminal Penalties in Fort Collins

There is good news and bad news. The good news is first offenses are the easiest to beat or win a reduction of the charges. The bad news is having a conviction on your record means you will be targeted by law enforcement for years to come and can expect frequent traffic stops, particularly at night. 

The progressive nature of Colorado’s drunk driving laws means a subsequent arrest will result in more serious penalties. The best way to avoid such penalties is to keep a first conviction off your criminal record by hiring an experienced Fort Collins DUI defense attorney. 

  • DWAI: Misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail (2-day minimum), $500 fine, 48-hours community service. 
  • DUI: Misdemeanor punishable by 5-days to 1-year in jail, $1,000 fine and up to 96 hours of community service. 
  • 2nd offense: 10-days to 1 year in jail, $1,500 fine, up to 120 hours of community service. 
  • 3rd offense: 60 days to 1 year in jail, $1,500 fine, up to 120 hours of community service. 
  • 4th offense: Felony, 2-6 years in prison (3 years of parole). 

Drunk Driving Defense in Fort Collins

Our veteran DUI defense attorneys in Fort Collins believe in challenging arrests on all fronts, including: 

  • Probable cause for traffic stop: So called “equipment violations” and “swerving” within your lane are two of the most popular false pretenses for traffic stops. The truth is law enforcement often fishes for drunk drivers. Some officers love to pull over work trucks out after dark (happy hour), while others love to target younger college-aged motorists. If an officer does not have a valid reason for stopping you, everything after that point may be inadmissible in court. 
  • Field sobriety tests: You are not required to participate in these tests under Colorado law and should not. There are only three nationally recognized tests and yet law enforcement loves to devise all kinds of “tests” to make motorists look foolish and get them talking. 
  • Officer training: Whether conducting field sobriety tests or breathalyzer examinations, an officer’s training and experience can be a critical factor. Untrained or poorly trained officers can often be successfully challenged in court. 
  • Miranda and other rights: Yes, you should be notified of your Miranda rights to remain silent. But there are other important rights (such as probable cause) your defense attorney must take into consideration. 
  • Breathalyzer results: Portable breathalyzer results are not admissible in court. Other breathalyzer results can be challenged based on a host of issues, including timing, calibration, and officer training. 
  • Plea agreements: In some cases, we may be able to reduce the charges, and therefore the penalties as well as the prospect of facing enhanced penalties in the event of future arrests.

There are many ways to beat these charges. Our experienced Fort Collins DUI defense lawyers represent motorist clients throughout the area, including Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland, Larimer County, Weld County, Berthoud, Estes Park, Johnstown, Red Feather Lakes, Timnath, Wellington, Windsor, LaPorte, Bellevue, Greeley, Ault, Eaton, Severance, Nunn, Firestone, Dacono, Boulder, Winter Park, Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, and Fraser. We represent clients in Larimer County, Boulder County, Weld County, Grand County and beyond.

Call Matthew Haltzman at the Haltzman Law Firm today at (970) 692-3440 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

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Haltzman Law Firm
204 Maple Street Suite 101
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 692-3440
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