When you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, feeling a buzz and feeling good, it can be hard to tell if you’re over the limit. Because, let’s face it, your judgment is impaired and what may feel like the perfect time to bust out your best dance moves is actually your signal to call a taxi for a ride home. A Colorado DUI and DWAI are both the result of similarly impaired judgment and both are criminal offenses that will follow you around for years to come.
The difference between a Colorado DUI and DWAI is your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
To stop yourself or someone else from driving under the influence of alcohol, it’s important to know the physical signs of impairment. When drinking alcohol, you’re changing your brain’s capacity to react clearly or logically reason things out. This impairment shows in your mental and visual perception and how you think, act, or feel, including:
- Blurred, tunnel or double vision.
- Loss of depth perception.
- Feeling powerful, or emotional.
- Acting more relaxed or with fewer inhibitions.
- A less steady walk and/or slurred speech.
- Feeling okay to drive.
None of that is a perfect guide to your level of intoxication, but any of those signs should signal a real evaluation of your sobriety… and a call for a safe ride home.
A Colorado DUI means that your BAC is at or above .08 percent. That’s the legal limit across the U.S. and at that point, you are clearly intoxicated. You’ll face court costs and fines and a possible ignition interlock requirement on top of that, and that’s only for a first offense DUI. Colorado also has a law that says if your BAC is at or above .05 percent, up to .08 percent, you will be charged with DWAI. That criminal charge carries a license suspension and a fine, plus it can count against you in court if you are ever arrested for another alcohol-related traffic crime like DUI.