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What is Probation like for a DUI in Colorado

By: Lain A. Lawrence - DUI Defense Attorney of the Lawrence Law Firm Nov. 29, 2022

Probation in Colorado for DUI Offenses 

The sentencing structure in for DUI or DUI Per Se charges in Colorado get progressively worse for a defendant as the number of convictions increases. A first DUI will typically carry no jail time. Second offenses come with a mandatory 10-day jail sentence, and a third comes with a 60-day mandatory minimum sentence.

These are mandatory minimum sentences. Courts will routinely impose punitive sanctions above the mandatory time required. In addition to jail, defendants are required to submit to a period of supervised probation. 

Criminal charges are never easy to deal with. The traffic stop could be important. It is important to speak with law firms that handle dui cases on a regular basis. Our Denver DUI Attorney is ready to speak with you today.

What does Probation for a DUI Generally look like?

Probation has standard terms and conditions that are applicable to any criminal case. First, a defendant shall not commit any new criminal law offenses. The standard terms of probation do not define new law violations.

It is generally the case this means all misdemeanor or felony cases. It also includes traffic infractions greater than 7-points. A speeding ticket will not cause issues. A new DUI will cause problems.

A common issue people on county probation face is driving. A defendant will not be permitted to operate a motorized vehicle without a driver's license. It is important to handle the DMV hearing prior to being placed on probation.

There are also restrictions on leaving the state. A defendant on probation will be required to seek permission to travel. This is usually easy to obtain if the defendant is in compliance.

There can be restrictions on a defendant’s ability to own firearms. While this requirement is standard, it is not automatically required in every case. The purpose of probation is to assist a defendant in living a law-abiding life. If was no firearm, a court will find it hard to not be permitted to possess a firearm.

, and they will typically be required to maintain contact with their probation officer. Check-ins are usually monthly and done via email or phone. 

DUI Probation has Specific Terms for DUI's in Colorado

Alcohol and drug related driving infractions have more specific terms. Defendants will be instructed to not possess or consume alcohol or controlled substances. They will also be required to submit to monitored sobriety. 

Monitored sobriety is usually done by way of uranalysis. Probation will check to see if there are alcohol metabolites in your urine to determine if a defendant is drinking. These tests usually occur 2-3 times a month, but they are random. A defendant would be required to call a testing line every day.

A defendant multiple offenses will be required to use a SCRAM unit. This is a device that a defendant wears on their ankle. These monitors sweat secretions to determine if there are alcohol metabolites in the sweat. 

Colorado law requires a defendant to perform monitored sobriety. A first DWAI can result in 24-48 hours of community service. A first DUI has a possible 48–96-hour community service. Any subsequent DUI, DWAI, or DUID has a potential for community service in the range of 48-120 hours.

Community service must be completed at a non-profit organization. The hours are not required to be completed in the county in which the offense was committed. Defendants are usually provided a list of places where the community service can be completed. 

A defendant will be required to complete a drug and alcohol class. This is commonly referred to as a level 2 alcohol class. These classes are 2 hours a week, and the length is dependent on an evaluation. The evaluator will look at the defendant’s history, facts of the case, and number of previous convictions.

The first 24 hours of the level 2 consist of an education component. This is 12 weeks. After education, a defendant will be required to complete therapy.

In some cases, probation could not require a defendant to complete therapy. However, a DUI will also come with a revocation of driving privileges in the state of Colorado. The DMV will always require a defendant to complete education and therapy in order to reinstate their driving privileges.

Finally, a defendant can be required to complete a Mother’s Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel. This is a meeting between defendants and victims. The purpose is to put a face to the victims of DUI. The hope is that defendants will take these statements to heart and change their behavior.

The requirements of a DUI probation will be dependent on the case.  It is always important to speak with a DUI defense attorney prior to understand what you are facing. 

How Long is a Probation for a DUI in Colorado?

The length of probation is determined by the judge. The minimum length of probation for a driving under the influence is typically one year. Depending on the facts the case, a defendant could be subjected to 18-months of probation

A second and subsequent driving under the influence has a mandatory probation period of 2 years per Colorado dui law. The court will also be required to suspend a year of jail on the condition that defendant successfully complete probation.

A defendant can always request early termination of probation. To make this request, a defendant will have to complete the requirements of probation. This includes community service, monitored sobriety, and alcohol classes. 

The specific requirements for early termination will also depend on the defendant’s court. Some courts require a defendant to complete half of the probationary sentence prior to considering early termination. Others will permit early termination after 6 months.

Each judge is different. Knowing the judge could help. Some judges will base their decision on early termination on a defendant's blood alcohol levels.

You should speak with our Colorado DUI Defense attorney to understand whether you would benefit from early termination of probation.

Probation can be transferred from County to County

Colorado is a big state, and a defendant will be placed on probation in the county in which they reside. This can be problematic because sometimes people work or get DUI is different counties. Most jurisdictions will permit transfer.

Transferring Arapahoe County probation to Douglas County can be simple. Other counties require little effort, but it is up to the defendant to initiate that request. If a defendant violates their probation, a hearing will be held in the county that imposed the probation.

Speak with a DUI Defense Lawyer to Understand Probation.

It may seem simple and straight forward, but understanding probation and court orders can be complicated. A competent DUI defense attorney can help minimize the requirements of probation. Our DUI Lawyers provide free consultations.

We are willing to help anyone facing DUI offenses in Denver, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, and Adams County. We serve Aurora and most metro areas. Call today if you have any questions concerning your case. Consultations are provided during normal business hours. We do offer after hours upon request.

Request a consultation today.