December 9, 2023
How was your Labor Day Weekend?
For a lot of Colorado residents, the end of the summer and the three-day weekend weren’t as relaxing as they might have hoped. In a big crackdown on DUI, 103 Colorado law enforcement agencies made 964 DUI arrests between August 19 and September 6. This is actually a lower number than last year (in 2015, Colorado arrested 1,030 people for DUI over a similar period), but still shows how serious law enforcement is about cracking down on DUI.
In Denver alone, 105 arrests were made during the Labor Day period. Aurora police made the most arrests (126), the Colorado State Patrol made 107 arrests, and the Colorado Springs Police Department made 87 arrests.
These arrests were made through one of two methods: pulling over drivers who are suspected of DUI (by showing signs of reckless or careless driving), or holding DUI checkpoints. Checkpoints stop drivers as they pass by based on a set formula created ahead of time. From there, police officers can issue Breathalyzers or give sobriety tests to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol.
If you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% in Colorado, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. You may also be arrested for driving while ability impaired (DWAI) if your BAC is between .05% and .08%.
Why Labor Day Weekend?
The end of the summer and Labor Day weekend aren’t the only times that see big crackdowns on DUI.
Holiday weekends and the entire summer season tend to mean more things such as outdoor picnics and parties, as well as more time to hang out with friends. These types of events and get-togethers often feature alcohol. And more people going out to drink means there will be more people drinking on the road. This greatly increases the risk for accidents and traffic-related fatalities.
1 in 4 alcohol-related fatalities in 2015 occurred over the months of August and September. And during Labor Day, people usually let loose since there’s an extra day to recover. So law enforcement wants to crack down during these “high-risk” times.
Consequences for DUI in Colorado
The 964 people arrested over Labor Day weekend are going to be facing some big fines and penalties for their alleged actions.
A first DUI conviction has penalties of up to one year in prison, up to $1,000 in fines, and up to nine months of a suspended license. A second DUI conviction has penalties of up to one year in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, and up to a year of a suspended license. Interlock ignition devices (a form of Breathalyzer that you must blow into every time you start your car) may also be another penalty for DUI offenders, as well as receiving up to 12 points on your license. And those are just the beginning of the costs.
When to Call a DUI Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DUI, all is not lost. You have options for getting your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed. But this area of the law can be complex and confusing.
For example, a first DUI conviction may be reduced to a reckless driving charge. In Colorado, this is called a “wet reckless,” and is the result of a plea bargain. Reckless driving charges put 8 points on your license rather than the 12 you get for a DUI, and include reduced fines.
The best way to learn about the options available to you in your specific situation is to get in touch with a knowledgeable DUI attorney.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.