District Attorneys must have complained again. Now, DUI / DWAI cases with no bad driving can be brought in Arapahoe, Jefferson and Douglas County, and successfully prosecuted. Defense attorneys at our firm and other must have been too successful in defending their clients charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol. Now, even though you are found to be not-guilty of DUI or DWAI (no unsafe driving), you can still get a DUI based on having a blood alcohol level greater than .079.
One Size Fits All DUI Law
The sad part of this new law is that it makes no difference whether a person is driving in a drunk manner. The law completely ignores the fact that some people can operate their motor-vehicle safely at blood alcohol levels greater than others. Our state legislature again promotes a “one size fits all” mindset for DUI / DWAI cases, which has served us poorly many times in the past.
Two Laws to Make Colorado DUI Convictions Easier
Here is what this lopsided law states:
42-4-1301(2)(a): “It is a misdemeanor for any person to drive a motor vehicle or vehicle when the person’s BAC is 0.08 or more at the time of driving or within two hours after driving. During a trial, if the state’s evidence raises the issue, or if a defendant presents some credible evidence, that the defendant consumed alcohol between the time that the defendant stopped driving and the time that testing occurred, such issue shall be an affirmative defense, and the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the minimum 0.08 blood or breath alcohol content required in this paragraph (a) was reached as a result of alcohol consumed by the defendant before the defendant stopped driving.”
If a driver is under 21 years old, they must also be concerned of a separate driving crime when they drive in Douglas and Adams County with minimal BAC (blood alcohol content) levels in their system:
42-4-1301(a.5)(I): “It is a class A traffic infraction for any person under twenty-one years of age to drive a motor vehicle or vehicle when the person’s BAC, as shown by analysis of the person’s breath, is at least 0.02 but not more than 0.05 at the time of driving or within two hours after driving. The court, upon sentencing a defendant pursuant to this subparagraph (I), may, in addition to any penalty imposed under a class A traffic infraction, order that the defendant perform up to twenty-four hours of useful public service, subject to the conditions and restrictions of section 18-1.3-507, C.R.S., and may further order that the defendant submit to and complete an alcohol evaluation or assessment, an alcohol education program, or an alcohol treatment program at such defendant’s own expense.”
District Attorneys can now obtain a conviction in Colorado for driving with alcohol in your system – strictly by the “numbers” alone. This is in addition to normal DUI laws when the operator is driving unsafely. The idea is the give prosecutors a second bite at the apple, in case they lose on the DUI or DWAI charge. This new law is made without regard to any or no risk presented to the public by a driver. In the abstract, blood alcohol levels are being criminalized – no longer just dangerous driving.
If you have been charged with DUI or DWAI charges in Denver County or anywhere in the state of Colorado, call our experienced lawyers for a free consultation to learn about your rights and exposure to a conviction. Dial 303-830-0880 today. Together, we can protect your future.