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High rate of unlicensed driving linked to Colorado DUI arrests

A criminal defense lawyer works very hard to limit consequences a client faces following an arrest. Many Colorado defendants understandably vow never to take risks that would cause them to repeat the legal process. Charges and sentences reflect courts have little sympathy or patience for repeat offenders.

Sentences for Colorado DUI convictions may include jail time, license suspensions or revocation, mandatory substance abuse counseling, an ignition interlock, probation, community service, fines and fees. These are not easy terms for you, your family or an employer to handle. A second DUI can make your legal situation worse.

A substantial number of Colorado drivers cited for DUI over the past two years did not have valid drivers' licenses, according to a recent news analysis of state data. Twenty-five percent of state drivers charged with drunk driving never had a license or drove while a license was under suspension or revoked. Over 20 percent of unlicensed drivers were denied driving privileges due to earlier drunk driving convictions.

Rocky Mountain PBS I-News stated 45,637 state drivers were arrested for driving under the influence between April 2012 and April 2014. The number of arrests actually was greater. The analysis did not include Denver County, where officials lacked precise records concerning unlicensed DUI drivers.

During those two years, 10,978 DUI arrests in Colorado involved drivers without valid licenses. Among them, 2,294 drivers had invalid licenses due to previous drunk-driving charges. The report did not say how many drivers were convicted of the newer charges.

Separate hearings about DUI offenses are conducted in court and at the Colorado Department of Vehicles. An attorney will represent a defendant in both hearings to minimize consequences. A previous drunk driving conviction can make restoring driving privileges very difficult.

A defense attorney will offer legal guidance under any circumstances. However, it is in a defendant's best interest to avoid adding charges to a criminal record.

Source: Rocky Mountain PBS, "Many Arrested for Drinking, Driving had Lost Their Licenses to Past DUIs" Burt Hubbard, Oct. 22, 2014

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