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DUI convictions more costly in Colorado

A conviction of driving under the influence can be expensive in Colorado, often causing a damaged reputation and potentially harming one's job prospects. However, the financial impact of a DUI conviction can also be significant. In fact, it recently increased.

A first-time DUI offense in Colorado in 2016 carried an average cost of $13,530. That is an increase of about one third from the previous calculation. One factor in the cost increase is that the average drunk driver in the state can now be considered a persistent drunk driver, or PDD, according to his or her blood alcohol level.

In 2016, the average blood alcohol level for drivers found guilty of DUI in the state was .164, or over two times the legal limit. A driver whose blood alcohol level is .15 or higher is automatically considered a persistent drunk driver even if it is a first offense. In addition, somebody who refuses a breath, urine, saliva or blood test or who has at least two prior DUI offenses are considered persistent drunk drivers. This designation increases the consequences, including mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices (required for two years), and mandatory drug and alcohol treatment and education classes over a time period of a nine-months.

If a person is accused of DUI, this does not mean he or she is automatically guilty. Rather, his or her innocence is presumed unless and until his or her guilt is proven in a Colorado criminal courtroom. A close look at the evidence prosecutors plan to present to support a DUI charge may very well be a chief area of focus for defense counsel in such a case.

Source: mozilla.org, "A DUI in Colorado is now even more expensive", Dec. 23, 2016

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