Navigating the legal system can be overwhelming, especially when facing DUI charges. One challenge in understanding DUI law in Colorado is learning legal terminology. We will define some key legal terms used in Colorado DUI law to help you better understand the legal process:
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
Blood alcohol content (BAC) measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. In Colorado, operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal. The BAC limit is lower for drivers under 21 and commercial drivers. If a driver is pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, they will be asked to take a breathalyzer test, which measures their BAC. Refusal to take a breathalyzer test can result in a license suspension.
Field Sobriety Test (FST)
A field sobriety test (FST) is a series of physical and cognitive tests law enforcement officials use to determine if a driver is impaired. These tests can include walking in a straight line, standing on one leg, and following an object with your eyes. It is important to note that these tests are not always accurate and can be affected by physical disabilities, weather conditions, and nervousness. If drivers fail an FST, they may be arrested and charged with DUI.
License Revocation and Suspension
License revocation and suspension are consequences of a DUI conviction in Colorado. A license suspension is a temporary suspension of a driver’s license for a set period, while a license revocation is the permanent termination of a driver’s license. The length of the suspension or revocation can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, including the driver’s BAC and whether or not it is a first offense. In Colorado, a driver can face a license suspension for a DUI conviction and for refusing to take a breathalyzer test.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
An ignition interlock device (IID) is installed in a vehicle that requires the driver to take a breathalyzer test before the car starts. The time the IID must be installed can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. In Colorado, drivers convicted of DUI may be required to have an IID installed in their vehicle as a condition of reinstating their license.