Archive for the ‘ DUI ’ Category

What Are The Effects Of Drunk Driving On A Family?

Posted on: March 13, 2017 by in DUI
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Driving under the influence or “DUI” (called driving while intoxicated or “DWI” in some states) is the most frequently charged crime in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,265 traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2015 were alcohol-related. While a fatality is obviously the worst conceivable to a DUI incident, impaired driving can have a number of other serious consequences for the driver, the driver’s family, and for the rest of us as well. The NHTSA estimates that the damage caused by impaired drivers costs all of us in the United States about $52 billion a year.

The consumption of alcohol is more prevalent today than ever before in American society. For many adults, a drink or two with colleagues after work becomes a habit. Alcohol is served not only at restaurants and nightclubs but also at sports events and music festivals that are often sponsored by beer companies. Since alcohol is virtually everywhere in our culture, the potential for a tragedy linked to DUI is unlimited. In fact, such tragedies happen daily.

Driving under the influence is never a private matter. It never happens in isolation. The consequences for an impaired driver – and for his or her family – can be harsh, and those consequences can last for years. A DUI offender’s family may suffer both emotional and financial stress and instability. Some families break apart. In other cases, the family’s DUI-related problems can persist for years.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR A FIRST DUI CONVICTION IN COLORADO?

Anyone charged with driving under the influence in Colorado should obtain legal help at once by contacting an experienced Denver DUI attorney. A first conviction for DUI in this state is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and a nine-month driver’s license revocation – as well as other penalties including possible jail time.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has published a brochure which details what a DUI charge costs the first-time offender. They estimate the cost at $10,270 including attorney fees, higher auto insurance rates, and a license reinstatement fee. The brochure also lists these DUI-associated costs:

  • detoxification fee
  • chemical testing fee
  • towing fee
  • alcohol treatment evaluation cost
  • bail
  • alcohol education tuition
  • probation supervision fee

As you can imagine, a driving under the influence conviction can literally wreck a family’s finances, so obtaining the services of a Denver DUI attorney after an arrest is imperative. Immediately, a DUI offender will face fines, court costs, and legal fees, and that’s often only the beginning of financial trouble. A DUI conviction on someone’s record can make it hard to keep or find employment, and the combined costs can constrain a family’s ability to purchase a home or an automobile, afford a college tuition, or even pay ongoing monthly bills.

In some cases, a convicted DUI offender may be a family’s only licensed driver, so a driver’s license revocation can be considerably burdensome. Without reliable transportation, a person can lose his or her job. Finding a way to and from work may or may not be possible for everyone who is convicted of driving under the influence, and families with school-age children will face even more inconveniences and obstacles arranging for adequate transportation.

WHAT OTHER ISSUES DO FAMILIES FACE AFTER A DUI CONVICTION?

Some employers in Colorado will automatically terminate an employee who is convicted of driving under the influence, even if the employee’s job doesn’t involve driving. If you are a delivery driver, a bus or taxi driver, or a professional driver for some other employer, you can be dismissed from your position on the basis of a DUI arrest alone – before the case is even decided.

Those who hold professional licenses in Colorado may face disciplinary penalties if they are charged with or convicted of driving under the influence. Licensing boards have real concerns regarding alcoholism and addiction. An offender may have to convince a licensing board that his or her DUI incident was a one-time event and not a reflection of the offender’s true moral character.

Professional licensing boards govern these professions, among others: attorneys, doctors, dentists, nurses, pilots, police officers, firefighters, teachers, and stockbrokers. Some licensing boards may require treatment or other disciplinary penalties before a license can be reinstated after a first DUI offense. However, subsequent offenses may result in the permanent revocation of a professional license.

Higher auto insurance costs after a DUI conviction will also impact a family’s finances. A driving under the influence conviction can raise the cost of auto insurance by as much as $1,000 to $1,500 a year. For some DUI offenders, rates essentially double, and with a conviction, some insurance companies simply cancel coverage completely. A driving under the influence conviction puts a driver in the high-risk category, and high-risk insurance is quite costly.

A judge may order a convicted DUI offender to complete a residential treatment program. Health insurance sometimes pays part of the cost, but there are usually limitations on the amount that can be paid. Thus, the cost of court-ordered alcohol treatment is going to impact a family’s budget, and that cost can range from several hundred dollars for a one-day educational program to thousands of dollars for extended, private treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation. A DUI offender may also be subject to random testing at his or her own expense.

APART FROM FINANCES, HOW CAN DUI DEVASTATE A FAMILY?

Most people don’t think about their family’s future when they have a few drinks and then decide to drive, but they should. The emotional damage that a driving under the influence conviction does to a family, in the long run, can be even more devastating than the financial damage. Grief, shame, and addiction do not disappear easily. Family relationships may become strained. Couples may find themselves in disputes over money, drug or alcohol use, or other underlying issues. Discussions can become arguments, and incompatibility leading to divorce is a real possibility for many couples after a DUI conviction.

Nobody wins as the result of a DUI conviction. The offender and his or her family can experience pain, grief, and financial and emotional distress that linger for years after the conviction. All of this trouble and sadness, however, is genuinely easy to avoid. Drivers only have to adhere to one simple piece of advice that we’ve all heard many times – “Don’t Drink and Drive.”

Is Sentencing Fair Under Colorado’s New DUI Law?

Posted on: October 8, 2016 by in DUI
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According to the Denver Post, judges in Colorado are handing down a variety of different penalties to chronic DUI offenders who receive convictions under the state’s new felony DUI law. Some offenders are receiving no time at all behind bars, and others are facing lengthy prison sentences. Anyone charged with felony DUI in Colorado will need the help of an experienced Denver DUI defense attorney just to help you understand the law. Precisely what does the new DUI law say and do, and why are Colorado judges handing out such substantially different sentences for the same conviction?

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The law in question took effect in August 2015. It makes the fourth drunken-driving conviction in a lifetime a felony punishable by up to six years in prison. Until last year, Colorado was one of a handful of states where repeat offenders were charged only with a misdemeanor, which meant the maximum period behind bars was one year. Yet some Colorado prosecutors are saying the felony law is actually a step backwards. Previously, all offenders with three or more misdemeanor DUI convictions got at least sixty days in jail. Third-time offenders still do, but for felony fourth-time offenders, judges are given discretion regarding time behind bars.

Supporters of the new law said Colorado needed to join the forty-five other states that make at least some DUI charges felonies. But to pass the law over objections that it would cost too much, the legislation’s backers compromised and required no mandatory jail time for a conviction, instead giving judges the discretion to place convicted offenders in prison or to impose alternative penalties. The measure is expected to increase costs in the judicial and prison systems by $20 million in the first three years.

WHAT ARE THE COLORADO FELONY DUI STATISTICS?

The Denver Post examined 316 felony DUI cases since the law went into effect. Twenty-five offenders were sentenced to probation or community service but received no time behind bars. Only about three in ten of the fourth-time offenders were actually sentenced to prison (for a term longer than a year), and about 48 percent were sentenced to jail (for a year or less). The other offenders, approximately 22 percent, were sentenced to probation, halfway houses, or jail work-release programs.

In three felony DUI cases, judges sentenced convicted fourth-time offenders to home detention. And in about 40 Denver and Boulder County felony DUI cases, the judges permitted plea agreements that allow defendants’ guilty pleas to be dismissed after jail time is served. In these cases, the prosecutors required the defendants to plead guilty to a reduced DUI misdemeanor charge.

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A number of Colorado prosecutors and legislators are hoping to revise the felony DUI legislation in the next legislative session. They want the law to require at least some amount of time behind bars for a fourth DUI conviction. A number of defense attorneys, however, along with Denver’s top prosecutor, think mandatory jail time would be counter-productive, undermine local control of the courts, and remove the discretion that they say judges need in many cases.

WHAT ARE PROSECUTORS SAYING ABOUT THE NEW LAW?

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey previously told the Denver Post that a law requiring prison time for fourth DUI offenses would end up with many offenders serving less time than they serve now in the Denver County Jail, where DUI offenders are provided with intensive alcohol treatment and education. D.A. Morrissey added that under Colorado law, anyone sentenced to four years in prison for driving under the influence can be released to a halfway house in just sixty days however, longtime Santa Rosa personal injury attorney Jeff Nadrich argues this depends on whether or not personal injury resulted from the event.

Peter Weir, the district attorney for Jefferson and Gilpin counties, disagrees and believes that prison should be a requirement for a fourth DUI conviction. D.A. Weir cites the case of Peter Cain, 48, who was convicted of felony DUI earlier this year. Cain was stopped by the police in traffic in September 2015 while riding his Harley-Davidson. His eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred, and a strong odor of alcohol was on his breath.

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Peter Cain had five prior convictions for DUI and for driving while ability impaired. Jefferson County District Court Judge Todd Vriesman sent Cain to prison for two years on the felony DUI conviction, but Judge Vriesman suspended that sentence on the condition that Cain’s outpatient treatment is successful. The judge then placed Cain on two years’ probation in return for his guilty plea. However, Joseph Martinez of Wheat Ridge pleaded guilty to a felony DUI in May of this year, and Jefferson County District Court Judge Philip McNulty sent Martinez to prison for six years. “We have completely different ends of the spectrum here,” Weir told the Post.

PRECISELY WHAT DOES THE NEW LAW TELL JUDGES?

The new law tells judges to sentence a defendant to prison for felony DUI only if “incarceration is the most suitable option given the facts and circumstances of the case, including the defendant’s willingness to participate in treatment.” The statute also tells judges to determine if “all other reasonable and appropriate sanctions and responses to the violation that are available to the court have been exhausted, do not appear likely to be successful if tried, or present an unacceptable to risk to public safety.”

For Weir, the language of the statute “is simply ludicrous.” He said, “These are individuals who already have had repeated chances at treatment.” When judges sentence an offender to both probation and to jail for felony DUI, the maximum jail sentence a judge can impose is ninety days. Weir says there’s a need for new legislation so that a judge can sentence a fourth-time DUI offender to one-to-three years in prison followed by a supervised probation.

State Representative Lori Saine, the lead sponsor of the new felony DUI statute, told the Post that she will support mandatory prison time for fourth DUI felony convictions in the next session of the Colorado General Assembly. Saine said, “The courts are interpreting the DUI felony law to give out less jail time than would be mandated under a misdemeanor DUI. That wasn’t the intent.”

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Colorado’s state public defender, Douglas Wilson, argues against revising the felony DUI law to require incarceration because without an incentive to plea bargain, more cases will go to trial. Wilson told the Post, “Minimum mandatory sentences are going away across the nation because they limit the ability for the court to take into account each individual’s personal characteristics and individual records.”

If you’re charged with DUI in Colorado – as a felony or as a misdemeanor – contact an experienced Denver DUI defense attorney for the legal representation that you’ll need. Despite all of the laws and the controversy, the truth remains that DUI is entirely preventable if drivers simply used more caution and common sense. “Don’t drink and drive” is more than a slogan. It’s genuinely a solution, and it’s the sure way to avoid being charged with driving under the influence.

DUI, Denver, And Super Bowl Sunday

Posted on: February 8, 2016 by in DUI
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With the Denver Broncos going up against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on February 7, Denver-area police agencies are working on their plans for aggressively enforcing Colorado’s DUI laws on Super Bowl Sunday. For decades now, Super Bowl Sunday has been one of the top drinking days of the year in the United States, and this year football fans and television viewers will drink 325 million gallons of beer on Super Bowl Sunday, according to Forbes. That’s probably good news if you own a bar or a brewery, but if you plan to drive anywhere on Super Bowl Sunday, it’s not really good news at all.

Two years ago – the last time the Denver Broncos played in the big game – the Colorado State Patrol reported that 315 DUI arrests were made in this state over the Super Bowl weekend. More than one hundred Colorado law enforcement agencies participated in that effort. This year, Boulder Police Department spokesperson Shannon Cordingly said there will be more officers on patrol in Boulder for the 4:30 p.m. kickoff, although she offered no exact numbers. Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle also plans to increase the presence of the sheriff’s office on the county’s streets and highways. “We’re treating it like New Year’s Eve as far as staffing,” Pelle said. “It’s going to be a busy night.”

Of course, Colorado police will not be alone. Across the United States, law enforcement agencies will be cracking down on intoxicated drivers in big cities, small towns, and on the nation’s highways. Police departments will be designating special DUI patrol units, conducting sobriety checkpoints, and making plenty of arrests for driving under the influence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol played a role in 43 percent of all fatal traffic collisions on Super Bowl Sunday and the next morning in 2012.

Plenty of people are placing bets on the game, but your best bet on Super Bowl Sunday is the same advice that’s good every day of the year – Don’t Drink and Drive. If you plan on enjoying some drinks with friends while watching the Broncos and Panthers, it’s imperative to plan in advance for safe transportation. The cost of a taxi, a ride service, or a limo may be a few dollars, but it’s far less than the cost of going to jail for DUI, or going to the ER or the morgue. If there’s a genuinely trustworthy friend who will act as a designated driver, let that person drive – or consider being a designated driver yourself. The NHTSA recommends planning a safe ride to your destination – as well as planning a ride home – so that you won’t even be tempted to drive while impaired.

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WHAT IF THE POLICE STOP YOU?

While the best way to avoid DUI trouble is to avoid drinking and driving entirely, on Super Bowl Sunday police departments will be aggressively “cracking down” on impaired drivers, and they’ll be stopping many more drivers than they would normally stop on a Sunday night in February. If you are driving and an officer motions for you to pull over – or puts on the flashing red lights – pull over immediately, safely, and away from traffic. Be as friendly and as polite as possible. Place your hands on top of the steering wheel and leave them there until the officer asks for your license and registration. Don’t be the first to speak – let the law officer talk first.

After providing your license and registration, you are not required to answer any of a police officer’s questions. Simply and politely explain that you’d really just prefer to exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t give your consent to any search of your person or vehicle, but do not resist an officer or express what the police call “an attitude.” If you’re cooperative, and you are not intoxicated, there’s a good chance that you’ll simply get a warning about replacing that tail light or watching your speed.

If you are formally placed under arrest for DUI in Colorado and you are asked to take a blood, breath, or urine test, you are required to submit. Under the law, simply by driving in Colorado, you’ve already agreed to take the test if you’re asked, and if you refuse, your license will be suspended for twelve months. However, prior to being arrested, you may be asked to take a preliminary breath test, and that can put drivers in a “Catch-22” situation. If a preliminary breath test shows that your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is at 0.08 percent or higher, the officer will use that test result as evidence to arrest you and charge you with DUI. If you refuse a preliminary breath test, you will probably be arrested anyway, and then the test is mandatory.

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WHAT ABOUT DUI CHECKPOINTS?

Across the United States, thousands of motorists will be pulled over in traffic by police officers on Super Bowl Sunday, and thousands of other motorists will be stopped at DUI checkpoints. In 38 states including Colorado, DUI checkpoints – or “sobriety checkpoints” – are roadblocks where police officers detain, interrogate, and sometimes test drivers to determine if they are too intoxicated to drive. Motorists approaching DUI checkpoints are screened at random and they may be asked to submit a to preliminary breathalyzer test. Law enforcement agencies throughout Colorado and the rest of the nation will be conducting DUI checkpoints more or less everywhere – in the 38 states where the operations are legal – on the day of the Super Bowl.

State law in Colorado recognizes two different drunk driving charges. DUI – Driving Under the Influence – is the charge when a driver’s BAC level measures at 0.08 percent or higher. DWAI — Driving While Ability Impaired – is the charge when a driver’s BAC level measures at 0.05 percent or higher, but below 0.08 percent. A DUI or DWAI charge in Colorado is serious, and if you are convicted, the consequences can be severe. Any arrest for DUI or DWAI is a genuine threat to your freedom and your future. If you are charged anywhere in the United States with DUI – on Super Bowl Sunday or on any other day – contact a good DUI lawyer at once, and in the Denver and Boulder areas, contact an experienced Denver DUI attorney immediately. You’ll need to be represented by a knowledgeable, seasoned DUI defense lawyer who routinely helps clients facing DUI and DWAI charges.

You also need to know that if you are prosecuted for DUI in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) conducts its own hearing – entirely apart from your criminal DUI case – about your driving privilege. After a DUI arrest in Colorado, the DMV may place restrictions on your license or revoke it entirely. Obviously, if you must drive for work, school, or childcare, you need to retain your driving privilege. An experienced Denver DUI defense attorney can explain the DMV process, guide you through it, and fight to help you keep your license.

A first conviction for DWAI in Colorado is punishable with 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, and additional penalties. A first conviction for DUI in Colorado is punishable with a year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and other penalties. Naturally enough, subsequent DUI and DWAI convictions are punished with harsher penalties. With the possibility jail for a DUI or DWAI conviction, it’s imperative to have a good DUI lawyer working on your behalf and protecting your legal rights while bringing your DUI case to its best possible resolution.

Denver DUI attorney

WHAT WILL A DUI LAWYER DO?

Your DUI attorney will gather evidence in your defense, interrogate witnesses, and consider each possible defense strategy. Your attorney may challenge the legality of the traffic stop or the accuracy of any DUI test. If there’s any weakness or flaw in the case against you, an experienced DUI defense attorney will find that weakness or flaw and use it in your defense. If the case against you is “airtight” and the evidence against you is overwhelming, your DUI lawyer will still fight hard for a reduced sentence or for alternative sentencing. A good DUI attorney will discuss the case with you in detail and recommend the choices that are best in your specific legal situation.

Super Bowls are supposed to be fun, and if the Broncos win this year’s game, there will be plenty of joy and festivities in the Denver area. But for far too many people, their memories of Super Bowl Sundays from the past are less than pleasant. When NFL tight end Delanie Walker played in the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, his aunt and uncle, Bryan and Alice Young, watched from the stands. The Youngs were killed on their way home from the game by an allegedly drunk driver. Walker now speaks on behalf of DUI education and awareness-raising. He says, “I just want to make people more aware through my story.”

While DUI conviction rates are high in many states, savvy and experienced DUI lawyers win cases on behalf of their clients in every state in the nation, every day the courts are in session. If you are accused of driving under the influence on Super Bowl Sunday – or any other day of the year – protecting your rights, your freedom, and your future immediately become your top priorities. A good DUI lawyer will defend your rights and work diligently for the best possible end to your case. After any arrest for DUI – anywhere in the United States – contact a good DUI lawyer immediately, and in Denver, Boulder, or anywhere else in Colorado, speak at once with an experienced Denver DUI attorney. Stay safe, enjoy the game, and if you need legal help regarding a DUI charge, don’t wait to make the call.

DUI Charges for Riding a Bicycle While Intoxicated

Posted on: September 14, 2015 by in DUI
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If you are found riding a bicycle while alcohol -impaired anywhere in Colorado, you could be arrested and charged with a DUI. These cases are rare, but can occur, if police officers find that you are riding in a legally intoxicated state.

Remember, when you are riding after having a few alcohol beverages, your judgment is impaired, and your reflexes slower. You’re much more likely to be involved in an accident, or behave in a manner that increases the risk of accidents for motorists around you. If such behavior results in an accident, and if police at the scene find that you were legally intoxicated, they could charge you with DUI.

You might feel that you have a much better chance of getting home safe after a few alcoholic beverages if you are riding a bicycle instead of driving a motor vehicle. While officers are not very likely to pull over a bicyclist on suspicion of DUI, it doesn’t mean that it is safer you to ride a bicycle while intoxicated.

Not only are you at risk of making the kind of driving mistakes that increase your risk of an accident and an arrest, but you could also place other motorists at risk of an accident.

Why can you be arrested for a DUI when you’re riding a bicycle? Under Colorado law, any person who is operating a motor vehicle, under the influence of alcohol, can face DUI charges. These are serious charges, and depending on several factors, you could be eligible for a variety of penalties that range all the way from prison time, fines, alcohol education and even suspension of your license. You might be surprised to find out that you can be arrested for DUI while riding a bike, however it is the law. In fact, you can be arrested for DUI if you are operating an all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile, golf cart–and even a lawnmower! Granted this is not a question that many motorists in Colorado will struggle with, or even address. However, under Colorado law, the definition for DUI is driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, which could possibly include, yes, a lawnmower.

That’s exactly what happened to a man in Colorado. Police officers found the man riding his lawnmower on a very busy street in Garden City. When they stopped him, they found that he was severely intoxicated. He showed severe signs of intoxication, and could barely stand on his own.

Such bizarre DUI incidents are not exactly unheard of. In other instances across the country, persons have been arrested for DUI after they were found riding lawn mowers, and even a motorized La-Z-Boy lounge chair. While they provide humorous fodder for the media, and for the public, these cases also provide very interesting challenges for Denver DUI defense lawyers.

If you are arrested for DUI, speak with a Denver DUI attorney. Don’t ignore DUI charges- a conviction can remain permanently on your record. Talk immediately with a Denver DUI attorney.

How to Prevent DUI Involving Others

Posted on: June 12, 2015 by in DUI
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If are you out with friends, and see your friend getting behind the wheel of the car in a possibly impaired condition, don’t look the other way. Act quickly to prevent a DUI arrest, or possibly a drunk driving accident.

Often, people don’t realize that they’re legally intoxicated. They may overestimate their capacity to handle alcohol, and may believe that a couple of alcoholic beverages can have no impact on their system at all. The more that they drink, the more their judgment is impaired, so they may not be able to tell how intoxicated they truly are. It’s only later when they’re pulled over by a police officer and arrested for DUI that they realize that they weren’t as sober as they thought after all.

You may find yourself in this situation with a friend sooner than you think. In fact, according to the results of a study, young adults who drink with a large group of friends, are much more likely to drink heavily, and consume a higher number of alcohol beverages, compared to those who are drinking with fewer numbers of friends. The study found that the higher the number of friends that you’re drinking with, the greater the number of alcoholic beverages you are likely to consume.

That automatically translates into a high risk of intoxication. For instance, if you are in a situation like this you are likely more likely to arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or DUI, or DWAI or driving while alcohol impaired.

The researchers recruited 200 young adults in the study. The participants reported how many drinks they were consuming via phone, and how many of their friends were drinking. The researchers found that when there was an increase in the number of friends present, the number of alcoholic beverages consumed per person also increased over one hour.

If you know you are going out drinking with friends, try to prevent these situations by making arrangements for friends to get home safely even before your evening out. Designate a driver, or make arrangements for a pickup service. If you see a friend trying to drive while drunk, gently, but firmly, inform him that you cannot allow him to do so. Tell your friend that you are doing this for his own good, that you care about his safety.

Prepare for some aggression or belligerence from your friend. Alcohol does impair a person’s judgment, and your friend might be angry with you. However, remain firm. If possible, and if you are sober, drive him home.

If you have been arrested for DUI, you have a lot to lose. A DUI conviction on your record can mean that you are unable to get into a college of your choice. It can also mean problems finding a good job later finding a job. Years after your arrest and conviction, you may find that the conviction continues to show up on your records. To avoid a conviction, talk to a DUI lawyer in Denver. Discuss your case with a DUI lawyer in Denver.

Breathalyzer Defenses for Your DUI Case

Posted on: May 11, 2015 by in DUI
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It is a situation that every motorist dreads. Seeing the lights flash behind your car and realizing that you’re being pulled over by a police office. Being pulled over by a police officer for DUI can be intimidating. If you believe that you are safe just because you have had a couple of alcohol beverages and are confident that you will clear the breathalyzer test, you may not be entirely right. There are ways that a police officer can influence your breathalyzer reading, without you even knowing it.

How can the officer do this? What he does is manipulate your pattern of breathing as he is administering the breathalyzer test. It is scientifically proven that the concentration of alcohol in your breath changes considerably during the breath. The first part of the breath is likely to contain the least concentration of alcohol. In fact, at this stage, you are very likely to register below the .08% level. However, as you begin to inhale more deeply, you’re much more likely to be in dangerous territory. The last part of your breath actually contains a higher concentration of alcohol.

A police officer knows this, and may ask you while you are taking the breathalyzer test to breathe harder. If you breathe deeper and harder, the breathalyzer is likely to detect more traces of alcohol in the last part of your breath. You are therefore much more likely to fail the breathalyzer test or register at or above the .08% level.

That means that you’re possibly looking at a DUI arrest, even though you may not be intoxicated at all. It’s highly likely that you will be very confused at such a time, especially because you do not believe that the number of alcoholic beverages that you had were sufficient for you to register at the maximum permissible limit.

Just because you have registered at the maximum permissible level or higher on a breathalyzer does not mean that a conviction is guaranteed. The first thing that you need to do when you have been arrested for DUI is immediately get in touch with a Denver DUI defense lawyer.

Breathalyzer Tests May Not Be Conclusive

You must understand that breathalyzers are not infallible, or without potential for errors. Breathalyzers are simple devices, and as such, they can be prone to errors. These errors can be human or mechanical in nature. There’s no doubt that the quality of breathalyzers has improved in the past few years, but they are still prone to inaccuracies and very often, such inaccuracies in breathalyzer readings can prove to be a good defense for DUI.

One of the biggest challenges in breathalyzer readings is that the reading may be effected by contamination by other substances. There are a number of substances, that range all the way from gasoline fumes to cell phone signals that can actually interfere with a breathalyzer reading leading to inaccurate results.

Besides, a breathalyzer may deliver different results during different times. If you are a smoker, you may find that the breathalyzer delivers different test results, compared to a non-smoker. Diabetic patients may also find inaccurate test readings from the breathalyzer. A person who is dieting is also much more likely to inaccurately register higher on a breathalyzer.

Persons, who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disorder or acid reflux disorder, are also much more likely to register highly on the breathalyzer, in spite of the fact that they have not consumed alcohol recently.

Apart from mechanical errors, there may be human errors that affect breathalyzer test results. For instance, the officer in question may misread a concentration level based on a reading. He may also administer the tests in the improper sequence, leading to a faulty reading.

Inaccurate breathalyzer test readings are very often used as a defense for DUI, and if you have registered a .08 or above on a breathalyzer test, it does not necessarily mean that your case is hopeless. It is important however to get in touch with DUI defense attorneys to understand what strategies would be best in your case.

Breathalyzer Defenses For Your DUI Case

In Colorado, police officers use Intoxilyzer 5000EN device to test for alcohol concentration levels.

However, like any other device, breathalyzer test devices can malfunction or otherwise fail. Your Denver DUI defense attorney will go through all documents after a breathalyzer test is conducted, to identify whether any errors occurred during the administration of the test. It takes an experienced attorney to identify whether errors occurred, and to request documents to identify it.

For instance, the device may not have been properly calibrated, resulting in inaccurate results, or results could be unreliable because all the protocols were not followed in the administration of the test. For instance, there may be fluctuating calibration problems, or physical malfunctioning of the device, or other types of malfunction that cause inaccurate readings. Sometimes, inaccurate results could be the result of power fluctuations, or poor maintenance of the device. They could also be the result of the officer’s failure to wait for the minimum observation period before the administration of the test.

In all these cases, the accuracy of the results and the validity of errors would be called into question by a Denver criminal defense attorney. If you were arrested for DUI, speak to a Denver criminal defense attorney and discuss your case.

What Should You Do If You’re Pulled Over?

Even if you do not believe that you are intoxicated, you may be showing certain signs of intoxication that the officer is specifically looking for. These include blood shot eyes, slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol coming from you. The officer will take this chance to conduct a visual scan of your vehicle, to see if there are incriminating pieces of evidence, like open containers of alcohol.

If you’re feeling slightly buzzed, and aren’t exactly sure how to respond to the officer, the best thing to do is keep silent. The more you talk, the more likely it is that you will say things that will incriminate you.

Silence is the best policy when you’re pulled over by a police officer. If you are arrested for DUI, you have the right to a Denver DUI defense attorney. Use that right. Talk to a Denver DUI defense attorney immediately.

Colorado Ignition Interlock Laws

Posted on: April 8, 2015 by in DUI
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Colorado now has stringent penalties for persons under a separate category, called Persistent Drunk Drivers. This category includes repeat drunk drivers who have more than one DUI conviction on their part.

Apart from repeat offenders, the category also includes motorists who were driving with an excessive amount of alcohol in their blood. For instance, drivers who were arrested with a blood-alcohol concentration of more than .149 at the time of the arrest, or motorists who continue to drive even after they have received a driver’s license suspension for a DUI offense in the past, are all eligible to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles.

An ignition interlock device is installed on your vehicle, after you have been convicted of certain types of DUI offenses. You will have to bear the expense of the installation and the maintenance of the device. The device will measure your the alcohol content in your system when you attempt to start the car, and shut the ignition down, if it finds that the alcohol in your system is beyond a certain predetermined limit. Certain types of devices will also continue to continually monitor your alcohol level to ensure that you’re not drinking and operating the vehicle. Most of the ignition interlock devices will provide frequent reports to the Department of Motor Vehicles on your actions. If these reports reveal that you are frequently trying to start your car while intoxicated, then your period of driving with an interlock device will most likely be extended.

Make no mistake. Getting an interlock device installed in your car can be expensive. The cost can range from between $800-$1000 per year. You will have to purchase a device from one of the approved providers and keep it in place until told that you are permitted to remove it. Also, you will be required to get the ignition device installed in all of your vehicles, not just the main one that you drive. That includes not just cars that you own, but even those that you co-own, or are allowed to operate.

Who Is Required to Have an Ignition Interlock Device?

Under Colorado law, if you have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and meet any of the following criteria, you can be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car.

  • If this is your first DUI conviction, and if you have been driving with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or higher, you may be required to get the device installed in your vehicle. If you meet this criterion, then you are required to have an interlock device in your car for a period of two years.
  • If this is your second conviction for DUI within a period of five years, then you are subjected to the two-year requirement. The device must be fitted in your car, and must be retained for two years before it can be removed.
  • If this is your third conviction for DUI, you will be subjected to the two-year interlock requirement too.
  • If you have been convicted of refusal to submit to an alcohol test for DUI, then you would have to get the device installed, and keep it in your car for a period of two years.

Failure to get the ignition interlock device installed in your car is punishable with a penalty. If you fail to drive a vehicle that has been equipped with an ignition interlock device, even after you have been ordered to so, or try to drive a vehicle that has not been equipped device, then you will lose your driver’s license for a period of one year. You will also be required to get the device examined by a licensed professional at least once every two months, and failure to do so will again subject you to a suspension of your driver’s license.

It is illegal to attempt to tamper with an ignition interlock device, or to attempt to circumvent the technology anyway. A violation could result in a license revocation.

Any decisions related to ignition devices, eligibility and reinstatement, are made by the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles.

Early Reinstatement

In some cases, you may be able to reinstate your driving privileges ahead of time by participating in an ignition interlock program.

In Colorado, early reinstatement is only given to drivers who are residents of Colorado, at least 21 years of age, and who have satisfied all other requirements of their sentencing.

To determine whether you are eligible for early reinstatement, consult with an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney.

Bicycles and Breathalyzers

Ignition interlock devices help reduce the likelihood that a person with a DUI conviction on his record will go ahead and drive under the influence of alcohol again. A device like this could soon be in the market for bicyclists. The breathalyzer bicycle lock device has been designed by a Japanese cycling supplies manufacturer. The device is called Alcoho-Lock, and is designed to detect alcohol concentration in the user.

If the device determines that the alcohol concentration in the person’s system is excessive, it will lock down the bicycle and prevent the person from riding. That’s not all. The device can also be connected to a smart phone app through Bluetooth. The app will send an alert to a friend of the bicyclist, warning him about the person’s drinking. This person can then decide whether to unlock the bicycle lock remotely from home, thereby allowing the bicyclist to ride home in an impaired state, or not.

In Colorado, you can be arrested for DUI, even if you are riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol. The law allows charges to be filed against inebriated bicyclists. Loved ones of a bicyclist may want to invest in an alcohol interlock device to help reduce the risk that their loved one will be arrested for DUI, or be involved in an accident while riding under the influence of alcohol.

If you are arrested for DUI, speak to a Denver DUI defense attorney about your legal options.

How to Avoid a DUI Arrest Over the Holidays

Posted on: December 22, 2014 by in DUI
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Denver DUI attorneys

Americans will celebrate some of the more joyful and festive times of the year. Unfortunately, for many of them, the activities will be married by DUI arrests that are unexpected.

The celebrations can’t always be completely separate from alcohol use, and many people do mix drinking alcohol with the festivities. They may not realize that when they drive home, they can be pulled over by officers who are trying to garner as many DUI arrests as possible during this time of the year. The risks of being arrested for DUI peak over the Christmas and New Year holidays. The New Year’s Eve holiday season sees some of the highest rates of DUI arrests, not just in Denver but also across the country.

Law enforcement officers will be out in larger numbers during the holiday season, and Denver DUI attorneys warn motorists to be extra cautious about driving home after having alcohol. To prevent a DUI arrest, do not get behind the wheel of the car after drinking alcohol. Many people are unable to avoid alcohol during the holiday festivities, and don’t even realize that they could register as legally intoxicated. It’s not always possible for people to determine how much alcohol they have in their system, especially not over the holidays when eating habits change so dramatically. Get a friend who is sober to drive you home, or call a cab. If you can, make arrangements to stay over at the venue of the party.

If you are an employer who is hosting an office holiday party, you must monitor the alcohol consumption of your employees, especially if they are driving home after a party. If one of your employees is out driving under the influence of alcohol, and causes an accident, you could be liable as an employer for any damages arising out of the accident.

Maintain your car in good condition. Broken tail lights, broken headlamps or other defects in your car give police officers the chance to pull you over, and question you. If you are driving under the influence of alcohol at this time, an officer can administer an alcohol test.

Make sure that your driving license is valid, and has not expired. Your food intake can affect the metabolism of alcohol in your body. If you are drinking alcohol, eat a full meal.

Avoid breaking any traffic laws, while you’re driving home after having had a few drinks. That gives police officers an excuse to follow your car, and possibly pull you over. That means no running traffic lights- which you shouldn’t be doing at any other time either – and staying in your lane.

Make sure that you have important documentation, including a driver’s license, and other paperwork handy if you’re pulled over by a police officer who demands to see papers. Social networks like Twitter can provide information about sobriety checkpoints in your area. Monitor those alerts to find out whether there are sobriety checkpoints on your route. If you are arrested for DUI, speak with a Denver DUI attorney immediately.

How to Avoid DUI

Posted on: November 7, 2014 by in DUI
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blood-alcohol concentration

The maximum legally permissible blood-alcohol concentration level in Colorado is .08. To understand how many alcohol beverages you need to consume before you reach that threshold, is challenging. Many persons may feel the relaxed effects of the alcohol, much before their BAC reaches even .04%, while others may reach a threshold of .08%, without really feeling much intoxication.

This is part of the reason why so many DUI arrests occur. Motorists are not able to gauge whether they are intoxicated enough to fail a breathalyzer.

The easiest way for you to avoid a DUI arrest is obviously to avoid driving after you have had a few alcoholic beverages. However, not everyone has the capacity to determine whether the number of drunks that they have had could seriously place them at risk of being arrested for DUI. To avoid being arrested for DUI after having had a few alcoholic beverages, understand that alcohol beverages can affect different people in different ways. Whether you get intoxicated after a few alcoholic beverages can depend on a number of factors, including your age, your gender, your weight and other factors.

There are some things that you can do to lower the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Make sure that you eat something before you drink – having food in your stomach slows down the metabolism of alcohol. Foods that are high in protein do a much better job of slowing down the processing of alcohol, leading to a lowered concentration of alcohol in your blood.

Try to lower the strength of the alcoholic drinks that you consume. Stronger alcoholic drinks automatically mean a higher BAC. If you know that you are going to be driving, and that cab services are not an option, make sure that you drink light beverages.

Very often, persons don’t know how much alcohol a person of their size and weight must consume to get close to the legally permissible blood-alcohol level. The number is much lower than you think.  An average-sized person only needs to drink about three beverages to get drunk and cross the legal threshold.

Thinner people are much more likely to be affected by a certain amount of alcohol. Lower percentage of body fat is linked to higher blood alcohol concentrations, compared to higher body fat percentages.

Women are also much more likely to process alcohol slowly. Their bodies contain lower amounts of the dehydrogenase enzyme that is responsible for the breaking down of alcohol molecules. Additionally, a women’s capacity to tolerate alcohol depends on hormone levels, menstrual cycle and so on. Some people also tend to have higher functional tolerance to alcohol, which means that their bodies are less sensitive to the effects of alcohol, and therefore, less likely to show any of the behavioral or biological changes brought about by alcohol. Medication use can also affect alcohol concentration.

Apart from not driving while drunk, there are other things that you can do to reduce your chances of being pulled over. If you have consumed alcohol before driving, drive responsibly. Obey all traffic laws. Avoid speeding, and avoid other forms of reckless behavior. Stay in your lane. Remember, officers look for these signs, and can pull you over if they find signs of reckless or erratic driving.

Make sure that your vehicle is not damaged. If your car recently sustained damage as a result of a minor accident, get the damage fixed. Remove any beer cans or containers of alcohol from your car. Make sure that your car is in perfect order. One of the reasons that officers will use to pull you over, is a car that is in less than perfect condition. Make sure that all of your headlights are in perfect working order. Make sure that turn signals are functioning well, and ensure that all of your documentation including driver’s license and car insurance documents is updated.

Look for DUI checkpoints in your area. Social media sites, including Twitter, can be a good source of information about DUI checkpoints, so it can be worth your time to go through your Twitter feed to identify the location of a DUI checkpoint near you.

What To Do If You’re Pulled Over

Often, when officers stop a motorist, it is specifically to see whether the person is driving under the influence of alcohol. That is especially true if you are stopped when driving late at night. The officer may have pulled you over on the pretext that you did not use a turn signal, or have a broken taillight, or any other such excuse. However, the main purpose of pulling you over could be to check if you are driving under the influence. 

Remember, you do not have to take an alcohol test if you are pulled over by a police officer. Do not do anything threatening, do not appear hostile, and don’t talk too much when the police officer approaches your car. And under no circumstance, admit to having had “just a couple of drinks.” The officer isn’t going to let you drive off if you admit that – he will only ask you to step out of the car.

Even if you do not believe that you are intoxicated, you may be showing certain signs of intoxication that the officer is specifically looking out for. These include blood shot eyes, slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol coming from you. The officer will take this chance to conduct a visual scan of your vehicle, to see if there are incriminating pieces of evidence, like open containers of alcohol.

If you’re feeling slightly buzzed, and aren’t exactly sure how to respond to the officer, the best thing to do is keep silent. The more you talk, the more likely it is that you will say things that will incriminate you.

Silence is the best policy when you’re pulled over by a police officer. If you are arrested for DUI, you have the right to a Denver DUI defense attorney. Use that right. Talk to a Denver DUI defense attorney immediately.