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Cantafio Hammond
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In Colorado, DUI convictions carry stiff penalties

With the Fourth of July just a few short weeks away; many Denver-area residents are busy finalizing their holiday plans. While gathering with friends, enjoying backyard bar-b-ques and taking in area fireworks are popular activities that top the Independence Day lists of many, being arrested and convicted of drunk driving are not.

If you plan to celebrate this July Fourth by enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two, it's important to plan for a sober ride. Colorado doles out hefty penalties for individuals convicted of DUI. In fact, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, for a first-time offender, the financial costs involved with a DUI conviction are typically around $10,000.

In addition to the hefty financial costs, here are four penalties that DUI first offenders face that some people may not know about.

• Loss of driver's license for nine months

• Imprisonment in jail for a time period of five to 365 days

• Mandatory 48 to 96 hours of community service

• Misdemeanor criminal charge on permanent record

In addition to hefty fines and the other penalties detailed above, a DUI conviction is likely to negatively impact your relationship with family members and friends. Additionally, stripped of your driving privileges, you may have difficulty finding or keeping a job.

Many people wrongly believe that DUI matters are open-and-shut cases which always result in a defendant being found guilty and receiving the maximum penalties. In reality, there are ways to defend against DUI charges and, if successful, charges may be reduced or dismissed altogether.

If you are facing DUI charges, it's important to contact an attorney. An attorney who handles DUI defense matters will evaluate your case; determine the most appropriate legal strategy and fight to uphold your rights.

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