The Consequences of Driving Drunk in Colorado
Wondering what the legal and other risks are for driving drunk in Colorado? Jackson Sawa with Dolan + Zimmerman LLP breaks it down in this guest post .
Drunk Driving in Colorado
Unfortunately, drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of traffic-related deaths in the state of Colorado. As explained by the Colorado Department of Transportation, in 2022 alone, 38% of all fatal car accidents involved a driver that was under the influence, a statistic that increased since the previous year. So, it’s evident that Colorado’s drunk driving problem isn’t getting any better, despite the social and legal actions taken by the public and the authorities to prevent it. Here, we want to discuss the consequences of drunk driving in the state of Colorado both legal and otherwise.
Drunk Drive, get a DUI
Not all individuals that drive drunk are stopped for a DUI because not everyone that drives inebriated is caught. Nevertheless, driving even slightly intoxicated drastically increases your chances of being arrested for a DUI. The punishment for a DUI varies depending on the situation in Colorado, although any variation of a DUI is a serious offense. Below is a table detailing the various degrees and penalties for a DUI in Colorado provided by the lawyers at Dolan + Zimmerman in Boulder.
|Misdemeanor DUI Charge||Colorado Penalties|
|First DUI or DUI per se||
|Second DUI or DUI per se||
|Third DUI or DUI per se||
|First DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired)||
As you can see, there’s no light punishment for a DUI charge in Colorado, but it’s a problem that can be avoided if you’re responsible and never get behind the wheel after imbibing in alcohol!
Putting Yourself And Others In Harm’s Way
In terms of operating a vehicle, statistically, drinking and driving is one of the most dangerous things that an individual can do on the road. Drunk driving directly results in countless unnecessary deaths and even more injuries each year across the nation. As noted by the NHSTA, around 32 people die each day in the United States as a result of drunk driving, which equates to about one person every 45 minutes. Unfortunately, every single one of these accidents can be prevented. The consequences of getting behind the wheel after drinking are far too severe to not take seriously and making the wrong decision can drastically impact and even end your or someone else’s life.
If you are planning on going out and having a few drinks, it is up to you to make responsible decisions about what to do after you have consumed alcohol. Some suggestions by the NHSTA include:
- Plan your ride home before even having one drink.
- Have a designated driver as part of your group.
- If someone has been drinking do not let them leave behind the wheel of a vehicle.
- If you’re hosting a drinking event, make sure everyone drinking has a safe ride home.
Lastly, if you’re on the road and suspect that there is an impaired driver, it is your duty to notify the authorities. Call the police, give a description of the vehicle and the direction they are going, and steer clear of that driver. Chances are, you may save someone’s life.
If you are worried about the drinking habits of yourself or a loved one, contact us to learn more about our treatment programs.
Author Bio: Jackson Sawa contributes as a writer for Dolan + Zimmerman LLP, covering several legal topics. When he isn’t at his computer, you can usually find him outside or researching something that only he finds interesting.