When Zero Tolerance Laws Apply in Colorado

When Zero Tolerance Laws Apply in Colorado

Licensed drivers are required to obey a litany of laws when they get behind the wheel. While some of these laws dictate how to operate vehicles, others pertain to when drivers can and legally cannot operate vehicles. And in terms of operational laws – like DUI laws, there’s an statute to be aware of: the Zero Tolerance Law in Colorado.

What Are Zero Tolerance Laws?

Zero tolerance laws are essentially statutes that prohibit certain drivers from having any substances that could impair their driving abilities – including both alcohol and drugs – in their systems.

Most commonly, zero tolerance laws in Colorado come into play with underage motorists (i.e., drivers younger than 21). Specifically, for underage drivers, Colorado zero tolerance laws prohibit them from having any detectable alcohol or drugs in their bloodstreams.

For the purposes of filing legal charges – like DWAI or DUI, however, these laws currently stipulate that underage motorists with BACs as low as 0.02 can be charged with DWAI. In other words, it can take as little as one beer or alcoholic beverage to cause underage drivers to violate Zero Tolerance laws in Colorado – and that can result in them being charged with DWAI or DUI.

Additionally, the detection of any illegal drugs in underage drivers’ systems can also trigger DUIs, per zero tolerance laws.

Colorado Zero Tolerance Laws: More Important Information

  • Underage drivers are NOT the only people who can be subject to Colorado Zero Tolerance laws: In fact, any driver convicted of a DUI in Colorado will also be subject to zero tolerance laws throughout the term of their probation.
  • Zero Tolerance laws can apply when drug impairment is an issue: Specifically, the laws prohibit motorists of any age from driving after using drugs (either illegal, prescribed or over-the-counter) that impair their abilities to safely operate a vehicle. So, while use of illegal drugs like cocaine or meth can cause drivers to violate these laws, so too can the use of legal sleeping medications or other legal drugs that can impact drivers’ perception, coordination and/or reaction times.


How Many People Are Subject to Zero Tolerance Laws?

This question is more difficult to answer precisely, as there aren’t precise numbers regarding how many underage drivers are licensed in the state.

In terms of motorists facing DUI charges, however, data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) indicates that law enforcement officials make roughly 30,000 DUI arrests made each year in Colorado authorities. So, at any given time, thousands of of-age drivers in Colorado are required to comply with Zero Tolerance laws.

Contact a Colorado Springs DUI Lawyer at Kohn Law Firm

If you’ve been arrested for and/or charged with a DUI in Colorado, a trusted Colorado Springs DUI lawyer at Kohn Law Firm is here for you, ready to help you bring your case to the best possible resolution.

To find out more about how we can help defend you, call us at (719) 328-9555 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page. From our offices in Colorado Springs, we represent clients throughout the Pikes Peak region and Colorado.


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