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Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) essentially means that a person drove a motor vehicle when he/she was impaired by alcohol or drugs or both, even to the slightest degree. As a result of the impairment, the driver was not able to safely operate the vehicle. This is what a prosecutor has to prove to a jury before someone can be convicted of DWAI.

Unfortunately, it’s a common misconception that the legal limit for drinking and driving in Colorado is 0.08 BAC. It’s not. It’s really 0.05 BAC, as is indicated in the following presumptions. Many people are charged with DWAI or even DUI with a BAC lower than 0.08. A conviction for DWAI carries some of the same penalties and consequences as a conviction for DUI.

The following presumptions regarding a person’s BAC (blood alcohol or breath alcohol content) are applicable in a prosecution for either DUI or DWAI:

If a driver’s BAC was 0.05 or less, it is presumed that he/she was not DUI or DWAI.

If a person’s BAC was 0.05 but less than 0.08, there is a “permissible inference” that the driver was DWAI. A BAC in this range may also be considered with other evidence to determine if a driver was DUI.

If a driver has a BAC of 0.08 or greater, there is a “permissible inference” that the driver was DUI.

It’s important to note that the above-referenced presumptions do not limit the introduction of evidence to show that a driver was not impaired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An experienced DUI attorney can assist a client in presenting this evidence.

“DWAI” or Driving While Ability Impaired is also a lesser-included offense of DUI. What this means is that someone can be prosecuted for conduct that establishes more than one offense when one offense is included in the other, but a person cannot be convicted of both a greater and lesser-included offense.

In other words, a person who is convicted of DUI, cannot also be convicted of DWAI. However, a person who is found not guilty of DUI can still be found guilty of the lesser-included offense of DWAI. Typically, when a case goes to a jury, a defense attorney will argue against the lesser-included instruction being given to the jury and ask just for the DUI instruction (an all-or-nothing approach). However, if the prosecutor has requested a lesser-included instruction and there is a rational basis for a verdict acquitting the defendant of the offense charged and convicting him of the included offense, then the lesser-included instruction should be given.

If you or a loved one have been charged with DWAI or DUI, get professional help right away and contact Denver DWAI Lawyer Monte J. Robbins at his Denver office at 303-355-5148, or at his Greeley office at 970-301-5541, for a free case evaluation.

Client Reviews
"An excellent lawyer choice for my son who was charged with driving while his license was revoked. DMV had mistakenly sent (3) letters of revocation to the incorrect address, so I hired Monty to prove that my son never knew his license was revoked. Monty kept me informed at all times as to what was happening and what he doing to prove my son's innocence in this matter. We were to appear in court on 29 March 2012 and Monte informed us on 27 March 2012, that the case had been dismissed!!! Monte charged a fair, flat rate for what he did in this matter and should the need arise to hire a lawyer or to recommend a lawyer, I would not hesitate to give Monte's name.” Linda
"I consulted three other attorneys on my traffic offense in Colorado and none of them thought I could beat it. Then I consulted with Monte Robbins. He not only relieved my warrant without my presence in Colorado, but he got my habitual driving offense reduced to an infraction. I was up against the wall on this case but thanks to Monte miracles are possible. I have hired my share of attorneys and Monte Robbins has produced the best results for me yet. After being without my driving privileges for ten years I paid a small fine and am legal with a clean record. I Highly recommend this attorney." Steve
"I hired Monte J. Robbins to represent me. He gave 110% to my case never rushed me off the phone, quick to gather all information regarding my case. Monte is very knowledgeable and helped me out a lot. He kept me informed every step of the way through my case. I was always able to get a hold of him for any questions i had. The outcome of my case was way better then i had expected. Monte did a excellent job on my case and I would highly recommend him to anyone. Monte won my case and I am confident that he can do the same for anyone else." Jeremy