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What Happens after a DUI Arrest in Colorado

by Lain A Lawrence DUI Defense Attorney Jan. 6, 2023

A DUI is the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Obviously, an arrest for a DUI will likely happen at a person’s vehicle.  Police will do one of two things, take a defendant to jail or give them a ticket.

The term arrest does not automatically mean going to jail.  Most DUI offenses are misdemeanors.  A police officer can issue a traffic citation.  A felony DUI or DUI involving felony charges will likely result in being taken to jail.  A defendant would have to post bond to be out of jail while the charges are pending. 

If the police issue a ticket, they could still take a defendant to detox or release them to the care of a sober party.  They will not permit a defendant to leave the scene in their vehicle, so a defendant could have their car parked or towed.  If the vehicle is towed, a defendant would want to find their vehicle and get it out of impound as soon as possible.  Impound lot fees are charged daily.

It can be helpful to speak with a DUI Defense attorney to understand the initial procedures and steps to take moving forward.  Most law firms will offer free consultations.

A DUI can Result in Pretrial Supervision?

Colorado DUI law requires defendant’s facing a second or multiple DUI offenses to submit to monitored sobriety while their case is pending.  Monitored sobriety will usually consist of pee tests to ensure compliance with mandatory sobriety.  The level of testing and frequency will depend on the facts of a defendant’s case and their criminal history.  Pretrial supervision can be as low as two tests a month, but it can also be more.

Some judges have a policy of placing first dui offenses on pretrial supervision.  The law does not require it, but a judge is not prohibited from imposing this type

Pretrial supervision will test for all substances as well, including marijuana.  A defendant will be prohibited from using marijuana while a DUI is pending.  A defendant that has a valid medical marijuana card will be permitted to use marijuana while on pretrial supervision.

It is also important to get pretrial any prescriptions that are being taken by the defendant.  Prescription drugs can cause false positives.  Adderall is a prescription drug that can cause false positive on urine screens.

Failing drug tests can result in a warrant being issued. Missing and diluted tests can also result in a warrant.

While pretrial supervision may not be something a defendant wants to do, the tests can be helpful to the defense.  Judges will look at the performance on the test when crafting sentences, and the tests provide a track record of sobriety.  This could impact the length of any sentences as well as the availability of work release. 

How Does a DUI Impact a Defendant’s License after arrest?

Driving is considered a privilege in Colorado.  Few people could survive without this privilege, and a DUI arrest will have an immediate impact on a person’s license to drive.  This impact is a result of the Colorado Express Consent Statute.

This statutes states that a defendant must submit to a blood or breath test if requested to do one by a police officer.  The officer must have a reason to stop a defendant and reason to believe the defendant is under the influence.

A defendant that elects to submit to a breath test will be transported to a police station.  At the police station, the defendant will undergo a 20-minute deprivation period.  This involves a police officer monitoring a defendant to ensure they aren’t burping any alcohol into their mouth.  The officer will then conduct a breath test on the defendant with an Intoxilyzer 9000.  The breath test has to be within 2-hours of the defendant’s operating the vehicle.  If the BAC is above a .08, the officer will issue the defendant an Express Consent Affidavit.

This affidavit is a yellow paper, and it will inform a defendant that their privilege to operate a motor vehicle in Colorado has been revoked.  The revocation will become effective 7-days after the revocation was issued.  Police will take a defendant’s license and that paper will operate as their license during the 7-day period.

A defendant can challenge the revocation by requesting a hearing.  If they request a hearing, the hearing must be within 60-days of the date of the request.  The defendant will be granted a temporary license to drive until the hearing occurs. 

The hearing is only focused on a defendant’s privilege to drive.  It feels like a trial, but it is significantly different.  For example, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence standard.  This means it’ll be easier for the state to establish the alleged facts.

If a defendant refuses to do the test, they will also have their driving privileges revoked and need to undergo the process.  A blood draw will delay the issuance of the revocation.  The state will need time to process blood test.  If the blood test results in a BAC over .08, a defendant will have their license revoked. 

It is important to speak with a DUI Defense attorney that understands the rules and procedure of the DMV.  A DUI attorney could help a defendant request the hearing and request early reinstatement if a revocation goes into effect.  Reinstatement is the process of getting a license back early with certain conditions.


A DUI can seriously impact a defendant’s life. It may seem simple and straight forward, but this kind of case can be complicated. It is important to speak with a DUI Defense Attorney that understands the complexities of a DUI case.  

Our firm routinely handles DUI Cases and continues to study toxicology and the law surrounding DUI. We are ready, willing, and able to provide you the representation you deserve. We offer free consultations and flexible payment plans. Our goal is to provide aggressive representation to anyone who needs it, while no sacrificing any defendants because of budget.

Our defense lawyer routinely represents clients in Arapahoe, Denver, Adams, Jefferson, and any metro case. If you need an appointment afterhours or on the weekends, please let us know. 

Request a free consultation today with a DUI Defense Attorney