Blood Alcohol Concentration

Under Colorado law, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol present in a person’s bloodstream. BAC is used as a standard to determine if a person is legally intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle. In Colorado, the legal BAC limits vary depending on the type of driver and the circumstances involved:

Standard Adult Drivers (21 years and older):

General BAC Limit: The legal BAC limit for most adult drivers in Colorado is 0.08%. If a driver’s BAC is 0.08% or higher, they are considered per se intoxicated and can be charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence).

Higher BAC Limit: However, even if a driver’s BAC is below 0.08%, they can still be charged with DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) if their BAC is between 0.05% and 0.079%. DWAI is a lesser offense than DUI but still indicates impairment.

Drivers Under 21:

For drivers under the age of 21, there is a “zero tolerance” policy. Any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can result in penalties, including license suspension, regardless of whether their BAC is below 0.08%.

Commercial Drivers:

Commercial drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are subject to stricter BAC limits. The legal BAC limit for CDL holders in Colorado is 0.04%. If a CDL holder’s BAC is 0.04% or higher, they can be charged with DUI.

BAC is typically determined through breath, blood, or urine tests. Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that Colorado has an “express consent” law, which means that by operating a motor vehicle in the state, you are deemed to have given consent to a chemical test if you are arrested for suspected DUI. Refusing to submit to a chemical test in Colorado can result in automatic driver’s license revocation, and evidence of the refusal can be used against the individual in court.  You can also seek a review by the DMV of your license suspension. It’s crucial to consult a qualified legal professional to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on BAC limits and related laws in Colorado.

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