February 21, 2024
The Fourth of July is a time of celebration, but sometimes those celebrations can result in an arrest. There are quite a few types of arrests that tend to spike over the holiday, each with their own possible penalties.
If you or someone you know ran into trouble over the Fourth of July, then there are things you need to know about these common types of arrests and what they can mean for your future.
Why Does Crime in Colorado Rise Over the Holiday?
There are several reasons why arrests go up over holidays like the fourth, including:
Increased Consumption of Alcohol
Many of the celebrations people engage in over the Fourth of July holiday include drinking alcohol. This can result in getting behind the wheel of a car after they’ve been drinking, leading to charges such as driving under the influence.
Holidays tend to engender big emotions. Even on a day like the 4th, which is supposed to be all about celebrations and barbecues, people can grow very unhappy and problems between family members can grow worse.
Combine that with increased consumption of alcohol and people can begin to act erratically. Domestic violence often spikes over holidays for this reason.
Large Gatherings of People
Where large amounts of people get together for holiday celebrations, an increase in crimes such as theft often occurs.
Of course, there are many other reasons for increased arrests during the Fourth of July holiday, but these arrests are usually related in some way to reasons listed.
Most Common Fourth of July Arrests
The Fourth of July combines a few things that make it a perfect storm for some arrests: nice weather, alcohol, fireworks, and an overall festive attitude. These things together lead to common Fourth of July arrests like:
Disturbing the Peace
Also known as disorderly conduct, the laws against disturbing the peace prohibit things such as fighting, unreasonable noise, and obscene language in public. The laws surrounding these behaviors are meant to protect the safety and enjoyment of public spaces by the public at large.
Colorado defines disorderly conduct as when a person recklessly, intentionally, or knowingly:
- Makes unreasonable noise in public or near a private residence they have no right to occupy
- Displays a deadly weapon or something else fashioned to look like a deadly weapon, or says they are armed with a deadly weapon in a public place in such a way as to alarm others
- Makes obviously offensive gestures or displays in public that can incite a breach of the peace
- Fights with another person in a public place
- Discharges a firearm in public
In Colorado, disturbing the peace can be a petty offense or misdemeanor, dependent on the circumstances surrounding the case.
For example, unreasonable noise or offensive utterances can be charged as a Class 1 petty offense, which is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. Fighting can result in a Class 3 misdemeanor, which can result in up to six months in prison as well as a $750 fine. If you display a deadly weapon, then you can face a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 and one year in prison.
Driving Under the Influence
In Colorado, driving under the influence (DUI) occurs when someone operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol or breath alcohol content is above 0.08 or higher. A DUI can be charged even if your results are below 0.08, especially if you refuse to submit to a test to determine your impairment or if you are incapable of operating a vehicle safely because you seem confused or unable to focus.
A DUI in Colorado is punishable by jail time and fines, but how long you may go to jail or how much you must pay in fines largely depends on how many prior DUI offenses you’ve had. A first time DUI can result in up to one year in jail, probation up to two years, and fines up to $1,000. You may also have to complete up to 120 hours of community service.
With subsequent DUIs, the penalties go up from there and can result in a mandatory minimum sentence of up to 160 days, but you can spend up to a year in jail for three or more DUIs.
Fight Any Colorado Charges You Get Related to the 4th
The Fourth of July is a very festive holiday, but things can easily get out of hand. If you have run into legal trouble over the holiday weekend, then know your rights and make sure to have proper representation when you defend yourself in court.
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 recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.