Casey A. Krizman, a criminal defense attorney in Denver, Colorado, explains the difference in penalties for a DUI (driving under the influence) versus a DWAI (driving while ability impaired). If you need a personalized and relentless criminal defense, call (303) 529-2677 or visit today. #colorado #dui #dwai

Video Transcription

When you’re looking at a first DUI versus a first DWAI, you obviously want to try to get a DWAI if you can. Oftentimes this will be done through plea negotiations. The reason why a DWAI is better is because it doesn’t automatically trigger a point suspension with the DMV. It also has lower penalties in terms of suspended jail, the possibility of jail, and lower fines and court costs.

You may also have fewer community service hours to do based on the facts in your case. The penalties for a DWAI are substantially less for a first offense than a DUI for a first offense. There’s less suspended jail, less likelihood of real jail, lower fines, lower court costs, and potentially fewer community service hours.

And again, fewer points with the DMV. The problem is when we get to seconds, thirds, and other subsequent DUIs. With a DWAI, the penalty may be less now, but if you get a second alcohol driving offense, they will treat that DWAI as if it were the same as any other alcohol-related offense. Therefore, when you get additional driving alcohol offenses, the penalties ratchet up significantly.

For instance, if you receive a second DUI or DWAI, there is a mandatory jail sentence of at least ten days. And right now, jurisdictions in Colorado are trying to do even more than the minimum.

Alcohol & DrivingDifference in Penalties for DUI vs DWAI