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How long is a DWAI on your record in Colorado?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 01, 2019 | 0 Comments

Colorado DWAI convictions remain on the defendant's criminal record forever. There is no way to seal or expunge DWAI (or DUI) convictions of people prosecuted in Colorado criminal court. The only exceptions involve convictions of the Colorado crime of underage drinking and driving (UDD) and juvenile court cases.

Record expungements for "Underage Drinking and Driving" (UDD) in Colorado

Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-1301(2)(d) C.R.S. makes it a crime to drink and drive while underage (under 21). People convicted of underage drinking and driving (UDD) can get the record expunged if all of the following conditions are true:

  • their blood alcohol content was less than .05%,
  • they were not driving a commercial vehicle during the UDD,
  • they never held a commercial driver's license,
  • they completed all the terms of the UDD sentence (such as paying fines and performing community service),
  • they are currently at least 21-years-old, and
  • they have no other UDD convictions

People eligible to seal their UDD convictions need to file a motion in the court which heard their case. A criminal defense attorney can do the paperwork and appear for the court hearing.

Record expungements in juvenile DWAI cases in Colorado

People adjudicated delinquent of DWAI in juvenile court can usually apply for a record expungement one (1) year after they complete probation if all of the following conditions are true:

  • they have not since been adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent for -- or convicted of -- any crime involving domestic abuse, sex crimes, or possession of a weapon,
  • they are not currently facing any felony, misdemeanor, or delinquency actions, and
  • they have already paid any court-ordered restitution (or are currently on a restitution repayment agreement with the court collections investigator)

People eligible to expunge their juvenile DWAI cases need to file a motion in the court which heard their case. A criminal defense attorney can do the paperwork and appear for the court hearing.

Learn more about expunging Colorado juvenile records under Colorado Revised Statutes § 19-1-103 C.R.S.

Sealing DWAI cases that have been dismissed in Colorado

People whose Colorado DWAI charges have been dismissed without conditions may be eligible to get a record seal right away. But people who had their DWAI charges dismissed as part of a deferred judgment under Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-1.3-102 C.R.S. are ineligible for a record seal.

Note that record "seals" are largely the same as record "expungements" in Colorado.

DWAI laws in Colorado

Colorado Revised Statutes § 42-4-1301 (1)(g) C.R.S. makes it a DWAI to drive while affected by alcohol or drugs even by “the slightest degree.” In general, people are vulnerable to DWAI arrests for driving with a blood alcohol content of over .05% but less than the legal limit of .08%.

Penalties for DWAI increase with each successive offense:

A first-time DWAI offense carries:

  • 2 days to 180 days in jail,
  • A fine of $200 to $500,
  • 24 to 48 hours of community service, and
  • 8 points on the DMV driving record

A second- or third-time DWAI offense carries:

  • 10 days to one year in jail,
  • A fine of $600 to $1,500,
  • 48 to 120 hours of community service, and
  • 8 points on the DMV driving record

And a fourth-time DWAI is prosecuted as a felony, which carries:

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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