Colorado’s Drunk Driving Laws

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Driving while you are intoxicated or are under the influence of drugs is against the law in every single state in America. It is common knowledge among drivers that it is both dangerous and illegal to get behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink. Sadly, that bit of indisputable information does not stop everybody from engaging in this risky behavior

According to research published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 people in the U.S. die in car crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver each day. That’s a tragic rate of one drunk driving death every 50 minutes.

Drunk driving is also alarmingly common. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 28.7 million drivers confessed to driving while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at some time in their lives. That number is higher than the entire population of California. The prevalence of drunk driving and the obvious comfort level that people have with doing so is the reason that alcohol-induced car accident cases settle for upwards of $44 billion worth of losses and damages every single year.

What Are the Drunk Driving Laws in Colorado?

Colorado's Drunk Driving Laws

In the state of Colorado, a driver’s blood-alcohol level has to be under 0.08 percent. The 0.08 percent criterion pertains to drivers who are 21 years of age or older. Drivers who are under the legal age of 21 have to have a blood-alcohol level that is less than 0.02 percent. Operators of commercial vehicles need to have their blood-alcohol level come in at less than 0.04 percent.

Drunk driving transgressions, quite obviously, carry criminal sentences. In Colorado, the punishments for adults 21 and older who are caught driving under the influence are:

  • First offense: As long as six months in county jail, administrative fines of as much as $1,000, and a 45-day suspension of your state driver’s license.
  • Second offense: As long as two years in county jail, administrative fines of as much as $4,000, a one-year suspension of your state driver’s license, and the installation of an Interlock Ignition Device in your vehicle.
  • Third offense: As long as three years in county jail, administrative fines of as much as $8,000, and the permanent revocation of your state driver’s license.

It is evident from these penalties that the criminal laws in Colorado take a very dim view of those who chose to drive drunk. Victims who have been injured by a drunk driver can also bring a civil claim to solicit financial reimbursement for injuries that are a direct result of the accident. Call a Colorado personal injury attorney to discover more about your legal rights as the victim of a drunk driver.

How Can I Avoid a Crash by Spotting a Drunk Driver on the Road?

Due to the fact that drunk driving-related accidents are so prevalent, drivers need to learn how to defend themselves from behind the wheel. There are clues that make it simple to identify a driver who could potentially be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Warning signs of intoxication include but are not limited to:

  • Inconsistent braking or acceleration. 
  • Aggressive tailgating.
  • Driving well below the legal speed limit. 
  • Zigzagging in and out of traffic or veering sharply between lanes.
  • Driving anywhere other than a lane allocated for cars.
  • Striking or running up on the curb, or almost running into other vehicles or stationary objects.
  • Crisscrossing a double yellow line.
  • Delayed reactions at traffic signals.
  • Driving on the wrong side of the street.

If you think that you have spotted a drunk driver, the smartest thing that you can do is to put as much distance as possible between your car and theirs. If you can do so safely, you may pull over to the righthand side of the road and simply wait for the intoxicated driver to go by, putting a reasonable distance between their car and yours. While you are waiting for them to pass, you should consider calling 911 to inform local law enforcement of the area where you witnessed the erratic driving and give your best description of the offending vehicle.

The idea of simply going around the drunk driver is often very enticing, but it is actually a really bad plan. The most beneficial approach would be to lag behind and attempt to stay out of their way as much as you can. Some drivers might also signal to the intoxicated driver or motion for them to pull off to the side or to get off the road altogether. This is also a dangerous idea because it could cause the drunk driver to become angry and result in even more dangerous and aggressive driving.

What Should I Do After an Accident Involving a Drunk Driver?

If you’re in an accident with someone you suspect is under the influence, it’s important for your safety to know how to handle it. Some signs you are dealing with a drunk driver are that the person:

  • Is slurring their speech.
  • Shows confusion strange behavior.
  • Smells of alcohol.
  • Has watery, bloodshot eyes.

If you determine that you are in fact dealing with an intoxicated person, here are a few important tips to remember:

  • First, don’t panic. Keeping a level head will hopefully protect you from any possible threat of danger from the drunk person.
  • Don’t get out of the car and accuse the driver of being drunk. This could frighten the other driver into fleeing the scene of the crash to avoid a drunk driving charge.
  • If the driver does flee, try to get as much of their license plate number as you can, along with the description of the driver and vehicle.
  • Don’t engage in conversation with the other driver. Be polite, but don’t talk while you’re waiting for the police to arrive

If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of someone driving under the influence or other negligent actions, then you may be entitled to receive financial reimbursement for damages. You need a reputable personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these kinds of cases. 

If you are seeking legal representation for a pending lawsuit and you want an attorney who is esteemed, qualified, and knowledgeable in handling these sorts of injury cases, then the personal injury attorneys at the Injury Victim Law offices are just who you’re looking for.

If you would like a free consultation with one of our skilled personal injury attorneys regarding a case you feel you may have, we are here to help. Please reach out to us by calling (800) 245-2774 to schedule your appointment for your free consultation today.

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