Come January 1, anyone who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or higher in Colorado will be considered a persistent drunk driver. Currently, a drunk driving offender has to have a BAC of 0.17 to be considered a persistent drunk driver.
The law also adds to its definition of a “persistent drunk driver” anyone who refuses to take or complete a blood, breath, or other chemical test when suspected of drunk driving.
The change comes from House Bill 13-1240, which features other changes to Colorado’s drunk driving laws pertaining to persistent drunk drivers. Currently, any DUI offender with a BAC of 0.17 or higher must install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle after the license suspension period ends. Starting next year, offenders will have to install the device for at least 2 years if they had a BAC of 0.15 or higher at the time of the offense or for test refusal.
Other changes include:
- Financial assistance for persistent drunk drivers unable to pay the full cost of an ignition interlock device. The money used to help persistent drunk drivers pay for the device will come from license restoration fees paid by other members.
- Decreased license suspension period for drunk drivers who lose their license because they refused to take a chemical test. Starting January 1, refusal offenders will be able to reinstate their license after two months of the suspension period by installing an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
To learn more about Colorado’s drunk driving laws, check out our Colorado State Spotlight post.