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DUI & DWAI Lawyer in Boulder, Colorado

Since the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched a program in 2019 to offer free alcohol and drug testing to all state law enforcement agencies, the conviction rate for driving under the influence (DUI) rose to 88 percent. The rate for Delta-9 THC (the substance in marijuana) came in even higher at 92 percent, and for polydrug (a mixture of substances) at 92 percent as well.  

These statistics, compiled by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, make it seem a daunting challenge to be charged with a DUI, fail a test, and somehow beat the charges. However, the statistics do not reveal how many charges were reduced or dropped prior to trial. It’s also not known how many of those convicted even bothered to hire an attorney to challenge the arrest and the evidence presented. 

Facing a DUI or related charge is not a do-it-yourself proposition. With a DUI or DWAI charge, you may be facing possible jail time, fines, probation, and loss of driving privileges. Your life might be altered forever. If you’re facing a DUI or DWAI (driving while ability impaired) charge in or around Boulder, Colorado, contact me at Watkins Law Firm LLC. I will aggressively defend your rights and help you navigate the justice system. I also proudly clients and fight for their rights in Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Broomfield, and the rest of Colorado. 


In Colorado, there are actually three categories of impaired driving – driving under the influence (DUI), DUI per se when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is shown to be .08 percent or higher, and driving while ability impaired (DWAI). A DWAI is the lesser of the three offenses and can be shown with a BAC of .05 percent but less than .08 percent. 

Testing for BAC and Other Drugs

Generally, a person’s BAC will be determined by a breathalyzer or blood test, but it is also possible to determine BAC through a urine or saliva test. Also, if a person’s blood contains five nanograms or more of Delta-9 THC, the high-inducing substance in marijuana, it may be inferred that the person was under the influence of one or more drugs. 

Colorado law requires anyone whom a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe was driving impaired to take a breath, blood, urine or saliva test. If you refuse, your driver’s license can be revoked and the fact that you refused can be introduced in court as evidence against you. 

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Can You Be Charged If You’re in a Parked Car? 

You may think you can pull over to the side of the road and sleep off the effects of your alcohol consumption to avoid a DUI, but this is not always the case. A police officer can claim there is probable cause for a DUI if you are, for instance, sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition. Put the keys in your trunk and sleep in the back seat so the officer has less reason to assume you were previously driving or planning to drive while intoxicated. 

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be operating a motor vehicle to be charged with a DUI or DWAI. You can be charged while riding a bicycle, operating a Segway, or driving a boat.  

Possible Penalties 

For both DUI and DWAI convictions, there are both administrative and criminal penalties. For a first-time DUI, which is a misdemeanor, you can face from 5 days to 1 year in jail, a fine of $600 to $1,000, public service of 48 to 96 hours, and a license revocation of 9 months, which is the administrative penalty.  

A first-time DWAI conviction can result in 2 to 180 days in jail, a fine of $200 to $500, and public service of 24 to 48 hours. There is no license revocation for a first-time DWAI.  

After the first conviction for either a DUI or DWAI, the penalties are the same. For instance, a second DWAI or DUI can result in 10 days to 1 year in jail, a fine of $600 to $1,500, and 48 to 120 hours of community service. Your license may be suspended for 12 months. 

Ignition Interlock Devices 

In some cases, an offender can apply for an interlock-restricted license after one-month of the revocation period has passed. The installed ignition interlock device will require breath tests to operate the vehicle, not just at start-up but periodically. If your DUI or DWAI conviction was per se, meaning your BAC reached or breached the threshold, you will be required to install an IID for eight months. If the BAC is elevated to .15 percent or higher, the IID must be installed for two years. Subsequent convictions also require a minimum two-year installation. 

DUI & DWAI Defense Attorney Serving Boulder, Colorado

If you or a loved one is facing a DUI or DWAI charge in or around Boulder, Colorado, contact me at Watkins Law Firm LLC. I’m extremely knowledgeable with over 20 years of experience. My long-term relationships in the industry help me get prosecutors and judges to see things from my clients’ perspectives. My success comes from putting together a game plan that can overcome whatever hurdles fall in our path as we pursue a favorable outcome together. Set up a consultation today.