Under Colorado law, you are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while you are drunk or under the influence of drugs or any other controlled substance. The penalties for a DUI conviction include jail time, fine, license suspension, and probation – even if you are a first-time offender.
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be far more serious for licensed professionals. Apart from the aforementioned penalties, you could also lose your professional license, which can put your career at risk.
Impact of a DUI Conviction on Your Professional License Commercial Vehicle Drivers
If you drive a commercial vehicle for a living, a DUI conviction is the last thing you need as the consequences can be extremely serious.
First of all, the regular BAC limit of 0.08% is not applicable to you. You can be charged with DUI even if your BAC limit is just 0.04%.
If convicted, your license will be suspended for a period of one year – even if it is your first DUI conviction. If you happened to be transporting hazardous materials at the time of your violation, your license could be suspended for as long as three years. If you are convicted of DUI for a second time, you could lose your commercial driving license permanently.
Under the Colorado Medical Practice Act, any physician who is convicted of DUI must be evaluated by the Colorado Physicians Health Program (CPHP). Depending on the evaluation, the Medical Board will take disciplinary action against you – which can range from a letter of complaint to revocation of your medical license.
Other licensed professionals who might be at risk of losing their professional license in the event of a DUI conviction include:
- Physical therapists
- Airline pilots
- Social workers
Why a DUI Conviction Can Put Your Career at Risk
Colorado follows the doctrine of at-will employment, under which you can be fired by your employer for a wide range of transgressions – including DUI convictions. Even if you are not fired outright, having a DUI conviction on your record can severely affect your chances of getting a raise, promotion, and other benefits.
Moreover, most employers these days have a background check program in place. If they find out that you have a DUI conviction on your record, they might be hesitant to hire you. Apart from this, a DUI conviction can also have an impact on your insurance rates and interest rates for loans. It can also make it harder for you to rent an apartment or get a concealed carry license.
How a Colorado DUI Defense Attorney Can Help You
The first thing you should know about a DUI charge in Colorado – or any other criminal charge for that matter – is that being charged with a crime does not mean that you will be convicted.
Remember – the burden of proof in a DUI case is on the prosecutor, who needs to prove the following things:
- You were driving the vehicle at the time of your violation.
- You were drunk or under the influence of drugs at the time of your violation.
- The amount of alcohol or drugs in your system was more than the legally permissible limit.
If they fail to back up any of these assertions with evidence, you cannot be convicted.
Depending on the circumstances under which you were arrested, an experienced DUI attorney can develop an appropriate defense strategy to get the charges against you dismissed, dropped, or reduced to the extent possible.
The most common defense strategies for a DUI case in Colorado are:
- The officer did not have probable cause to stop you or arrest you
- The officer failed to inform you about your Miranda rights while making the arrest
- You were unable to perform or performed poorly on field sobriety tests due to a physical or mental condition – not because you were drunk
- The breath testing instrument was not properly calibrated
- You have a medical condition which led to a false BAC result
- Blood testing procedures were not followed, and sample was not properly stored
Choose the Right Colorado DUI Defense Attorney to Represent You
When your professional license is on the line, you need to have the best legal representation that money can buy. For over 50 years, the criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Carnahan have been providing aggressive and passionate legal representation for people facing criminal charges ranging from DUI to sex offenses.
We can counter the prosecution’s arguments, question the veracity of their allegations, the accuracy of the test results, and defend you aggressively to get the best results possible.
To discuss your DUI case with one of our experienced Colorado DUI defense lawyers, call our firm today at 719-473-9099 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation.