Being Charged with a DUI When Out of State
A DUI lawyer Denver CO locals trust is an excellent resource to learn more about how the law may affect you when you’re visiting another state. Although you may have an understanding of laws for driving under the influence (DUI) in your home state, it’s likely that you are not aware of how laws in other states may differ. Congressional Highway Funds have mandated that .08 is the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) through much of the United States. It is important to be aware that each state has different mandates when it comes to DUI charges. To further complicate things, DUI cases pertaining to out of state residents may also have different rules.
Variations of Terminology
When it comes to DUIs the terms can vary by state. The name/title of a DUI is different depending on where you live:
- DUI stands for driving under the influence.
- DWI means to drive while intoxicated.
- DWAI means to drive while ability impaired.
While the terms for a DUI may be different depending on where you live, essentially they mean same thing. A DUI lawyer in Denver CO can further clarify the meaning of your charges in this jurisdiction.
A DUI lawyer Denver CO residents trust, such as Richard J. Banta, P.C., understands that one of the most common ways law enforcement attempts to determine whether or not a person is driving under the influence of alcohol is to measure their blood alcohol content (BAC). In Colorado, a person is considered legally intoxicated if their BAC measures .08% or higher. However, there are situations where police can charge a person with driving while ability impaired (DWAI) if their BAC measures between .05% and .08%.
How Is BAC Determined?
An experienced DUI lawyer Denver CO clients depend on knows that the BAC is the ratio of alcohol to a person’s blood or breath (depending on the type of test used). Alcohol can typically be measured within a half hour of consumption because of how quickly it is absorbed. Many people think that the type of alcohol they drink will make a difference how their BAC is affected, however, the type of alcohol a person drinks — beer, wine, or distilled liquor — does not make a difference in the BAC measurement.
There are factors which can affect the BAC, including:
- Gender of the drinker. Alcohol usually stays longer in a female’s body than in a male’s body. This is because women have more body fat than men and alcohol is not easily absorbed by fat cells.
- The weight of the person drinking.
- The number of drinks consumed.
- The time frame when the drinks were consumed. Spreading out the drinks over a longer period of time results in a lower BAC compared to drinking them quickly.
- Whether the stomach is empty or full. Food helps slow down the absorption of alcohol.
Refusing to Take a BAC Test
Colorado, just like many states across the country, has an implied consent law. As a DUI lawyer Denver CO provides can explain, “implied consent” means when you accept a driver’s license from the state, you are also consenting to taking a chemical BAC test if a police officer arrests you for drunk driving. The law says this test must be given within two hours of when you last drove your vehicle. You have the right to choose which type of test — a chemical test (blood or urine measurement) or a breathalyzer test — you prefer. Refusing to take the test can result in loss of license, even if it was proven later on you were not driving over the legal BAC limit.
The implied consent law also says that you are willing to take a preliminary breath test, even if you have not been arrested. This test may enable police to establish probable cause against you.
States have a computer system that enables them to track whether or not someone has been convicted of a crime in other states. That means that any prior convictions you have in other states will be available to the authorities. Essentially, a repeat offender will receive a harsher sentence if they committed a crime in a state they are visiting if you were previously convicted of the same charge in your home state, or in other states. If you have any previous criminal convictions, be sure to inform your DUI lawyer Denver CO motorists turn to such as Richard J. Banta, P.C.
Longer Sentences and Out of State Convictions
A state may refer to a previous out of state conviction when imposing a longer sentence on a person. Case law takes into account the similarities in each state when it comes to the following considerations:
- How intoxication is defined by state
- The components surrounding the offense
Although there may be differences when it comes to the nuances of statutes, a DUI lawyer Denver CO drivers rely on can interpret how the law may apply in your case.
Interstate Driver’s License Compact
The Interstate Driver’s License Compact is an agreement that has been adopted by many states as a way to track DUI convictions. In this way, drivers who are convicted of more than one DUI will be treated as if they received all the convictions in their home state. Based on your criminal history, a DUI lawyer Denver CO residents choose can inform you of the punishment you will likely receive for another conviction.
Let a Denver DUI Lawyer Protect Your Rights
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you need to contact a skilled DUI lawyer in Denver CO right away. The sooner your attorney can begin building your defense, the better your chances may be. Attorney Richard J. Banta, P.C. is a top DUI lawyer Denver CO has to offer and fights aggressively against unfair prosecutors and law enforcement to protect your rights. He is an AV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, the premier attorney rating company in the country.
Contact a DUI lawyer Denver CO clients trust at 303-331-3415 for a free consultation, or fill out a contact form on our website.
When it comes to out of state DUI cases, there are a number of variables. This is why the legal counsel of Denver DUI lawyer Richard J. Banta, P.C. can be invaluable. Contact him at the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. through our website or call us for a free consultation with a DUI lawyer Denver CO offers.
Our specialty areas of practice: