If you are new to Colorado or just visiting, it’s important for you to know the drunk driving accident laws in Colorado. As a general guideline, if you are a 180-pound male, you will approach or may slightly exceed the legal limit for driving after consuming two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink per hour after that. For women, you will approach or surpass the legal limit for alcohol consumption for operating a motor vehicle with one standard drink in the first hour and one drink per hour after that.

However, these are merely rough estimates. While these guidelines are a great place to start in terms of lowering the amount of alcohol when driving, they are also the source of many offenses. This is because individuals depend on these recommendations without considering all of the other elements that might influence a person’s alcohol readings and, as a result, wind up over the limit and in legal trouble.

Factors That Affect Blood Alcohol Levels

Factors That Affect Blood Alcohol Levels

A standard “drink” is defined as either a single shot of hard liquor (1.5 ounces), a single 12-ounce glass of beer, or a single 5-ounce glass of wine. Your calculated degree of impairment or intoxication may rise or fall depending on the following variables:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Tolerance
  • Genetics
  • Body Type
  • Metabolism
  • Medications
  • Hydration
  • Food
  • Fitness levels
  • The alcohol percentage of the beverage
  • Others

As you can evidently see, it is difficult to predict what your blood alcohol level will be just by counting the number of drinks and the time that has elapsed. If you’re in a situation where you’re unsure about your blood alcohol level after drinking, you should best avoid driving.

Types of Impaired Drivers

Depending on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration or blood level of illegal/prescribed drugs, the offender may face criminal charges in Colorado for DUI, DWAI, or DUID. The Colorado Department of Transportation may revoke your driver’s license for a period of 9 months for a first offense and 2 years for subsequent offenses if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, your license may be limited so that you can only drive vehicles equipped with an interlock ignition device.

Driving under the influence (DUI)

Alcohol is a depressant, so it slows down the rate of the body’s central nervous system. As a result, people that partake are unable to operate as well as they would if they were sober. The cognitive and psychomotor effects of alcohol use are dose-dependent. A person’s ability to drive safely, including their coordination, good judgment, response speed, and understanding, are all compromised by alcohol use before getting behind the wheel.

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21, but anybody over that age who drives with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher may face criminal charges. Still, the government will often have the burden of proving that you were “substantially incapable of driving.”

Driving while ability impaired (DWAI)

The level of impairment required to be charged with DWAI is lower than that for DUI. When the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) reaches over 0.05%, they are arrested for DWAI. Most individuals report feeling pleasant, being somewhat less alert than normal, and experiencing a lowering of inhibitions at this point. Those who get behind the wheel during this phase may have trouble controlling the vehicle and responding slowly in an emergency. The legal limit in Colorado for drivers over the age of 21 is 0.05%, but anybody caught with any amount of alcohol in their system may face DWAI charges.

Driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID)

An individual’s behavior behind the wheel may mirror that of an intoxicated driver after consuming drugs. Drug use while behind the wheel may impair vital skills and abilities necessary for safe driving, such as memory, motor coordination, logic, and depth perception.

DUI Penalties in Colorado

Drunk Driving Accident Laws in Colorado state that the kinds of criminal charges that a motorist may receive for drunk or drugged driving are determined by the type of motor vehicle being driven, the amount of drunkenness, and the driver’s age. The suspected perpetrator faces the following charges depending on his blood alcohol content (BAC):

  • A driver under the age of 21 who has a BAC of .02 or higher but less than 0.05 may be prosecuted with underage drinking and driving (UDD)
  • A commercial truck or semi-truck driver who has a BAC of 04 or above might be charged with DUI
  • Any driver with a BAC of .05 or above but less than 0.08 may be prosecuted for driving while ability impaired (DWAI)
  • Any driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of.08 or above may be prosecuted for DUI
  • Any motorist who was driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .17 or above may be prosecuted with DUI, dubbed a persistent drunk driver (PDD), and penalized as sternly as a repeat DUI offender, subjecting him or her to repeat DUI offender sanctions even if it is his or her first offense
  • In the case of marijuana, Colorado law states that drivers with five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their blood may be punished for drugged driving (DUID). Any quantity of drugs in a driver’s system, however, might result in DUID Penalties

“Vehicular Assault” Law in Colorado

When a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol and causes an accident that results in bodily harm, they may be prosecuted for “vehicular assault” under Colorado Revised Statutes 18-3-205. In Colorado, a person convicted of DUI that results in bodily damage faces up to 6 years in jail, a fine of up to $500,000, a suspension of their driver’s license, and compensation to the victims of the accident. A person is guilty of vehicular assault if they inflict significant physical harm on another person while operating or driving a motor vehicle while under the effects of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the three. C.R.S. 18-3-205(1)(b)(I).

Proving Guilt of Causing a DUI Injury

If you were hurt in a vehicle accident in Denver perpetrated by a drunk driver, you may be able to seek reimbursement for your medical costs, lost earnings, and other accident-related expenditures under Colorado law. You should not have to cover the medical expenses incurred as a result of a DUI accident caused by another motorist.

Drunk Driving Accident Laws in Colorado state that the prosecution must prove two things for a conviction of DUI with injury. First, the driver was intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or both. Second, the other person was seriously injured as a result of the driver’s actions; and the driver was at fault. The prosecution does not have to prove that the motorist was acting recklessly or negligently while driving, as is required in several other jurisdictions. Strict liability laws apply here. For the crime of driving under the influence (DUI) causing harm to be proven, it is necessary to prove that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which was the direct cause of the accident.

Why You Should Contact Matlin Injury Law Right Away

A large number of impaired drivers are either uninsured or have inadequate insurance. Our experienced Colorado Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers can help you make sense of the insurance issues surrounding your DUI/drunk driver case and look for any extra evidence you may need to succeed in getting your rightful compensation. Getting in touch with a lawyer that specializes in accidents involving DUIs as soon as possible might also help you get the payment you need. The insurance company will often aim to settle a lawsuit early on in an effort to prevent any further costs from being incurred. It’s feasible, and rather quite usual, for accident-related symptoms to manifest years after the incident. Costs associated with things like recovery, missed wages, and medical treatment may pile up for years following a DUI-related accident.

9 Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies

The courts in Colorado have the discretion to impose punitive damages for pain and suffering in DUI accident cases, in addition to compensating for actual expenses incurred via a settlement. In order to dissuade the offender from engaging in drunk driving in the future, punitive damages might be awarded in addition to any compensatory damages. Criminal charges may also be brought against the offending motorist, particularly if their acts resulted in a death, in addition to the civil processes described above. A wrongful death action may be filed in civil court if a person dies because of an incident.

Victims of Drunk Driving Accident Laws in Colorado may file third-party liability lawsuits against anyone who may share responsibility for their injuries. Our attorneys fight for the rights of accident victims in Colorado and demand justice from those who caused their injuries, including drunk drivers who caused their accidents. Hosts who sell alcohol to minors or establishments that serve to visibly inebriated guests could both be held responsible for a subsequent drunk driving accident.

You can contact us online at any time of the day or night using our client contact form. Or, you can also call us during business hours on the phone at 720-464-3600. Remember, the sooner you have a skilled drunk driving accident lawyer helping you with your case, the easier the entire process is likely to be. So, don’t hesitate. Contact the team at Matlin Injury Law right away!

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Book Your Free Consultation with Our Skilled and Experienced Colorado Drunk Driving Accident Lawers to learn More About Damages. Call (720) 464-3600 Today!