Colorado law enforcement takes drunk driving seriously. Whether it is months where there is a surge in tourism or not, the concern for safety on the roadways is a year-round initiative. Thus, offenses of drunk driving could result in harsh penalties, causing those accused of such an offense to initiate a strong defense.
Being pulled over by the police is not an enjoyable experience. And when there is a presumption that a motorist has operated under the influence of alcohol, an officer may take steps to establish a DUI offense when there are clear signs of intoxication.
An officer will consider three factors before making a DUI arrest. The first is the observations of the vehicle in motion. This is likely why the stop occurred and could include driving too slow or fast, weaving on the roadway, delayed reaction time at a stop light and other concerning driving behaviors.
The second factor is the officer’s observations of the motorist when personal contact is made. An officer will note any smells of alcohol, slurred speech, slow reaction time trouble understanding questions and other similar behaviors. The final factor is the results from a field sobriety test. Three tests are conducted roadside, and these tests could give officers more insight on whether a driver can safely operate a vehicle. The totality of these tree factors will determine if a motorist is placed under arrest for the suspicion of DUI or not.
The penalties for a DUI can range and is dependent on whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Typically, the charge will rise to a felony if the accused has three or more prior DUI convictions. In the sate of Colorado, possible penalties include five days to a year in jail, fines between $600 and $1,000, public service hours, an alcohol evaluation, DUI classes and treatment, driver’s license suspension, interlock device and other similar penalties.
Because the penalties associated with a DUI offense can be harsh, it is important for accused individuals to explore their options when addressing such a charge. Whether one decides to plead down or take the matter to court, it is important to become well informed of your choices and gain a full perspective on the matter. This could ultimately help one to reduce or even dismiss the charges against them.