Tougher DUI Laws Coming for Colorado

Starting January 1, the DUI laws are changing in Colorado.  Whenever a person is charged with a DUI, the Department of Motor Vehicle can, and generally will, take action against the person’s driving privilege.  Come 2014, the consequences are changing, in some ways benefiting people charged with DUI and in other ways not.

The consequences differ for people charged with DUI who agree to take a blood or breath test and those who refuse a chemical test.  The consequences also differ for people who have a prior DUI or DWAI and those who are charged for the first time.  Finally, the consequences change depending on the BAC level, assuming the person agreed to submit to a chemical test.

Under the current law, if a person charged with DUI refuses a chemical test, DMV revokes that person’s driving privilege for one year.  Those people do not have the ability to apply for early reinstatement with an interlock restricted license.  Under the new law, people who refuse a chemical test may apply for early reinstatement after serving at least 60 days of the revocation.  This change in the law is more lenient than the prior law.  However, people who refuse a chemical test, even if they do so and have never been previously charged with a DUI, will be labeled a persistent drunk driver.  This label requires the driver to have an interlock restricted license for a longer period of time than a person not labeled a persistent drunk driver.