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Pulled Over On Suspicion of DUI?

If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Driving While your Ability is Impaired by alcohol in Colorado, you may feel overwhelmed. The first thing you should do to get a better grasp of your situation is speak with a knowledgeable defense attorney. A DUI conviction may result in the loss of your driver’s license, expensive fines, and a jail sentence, but a legal advocate on your side may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., our dedicated Colorado Springs DUI lawyers understand how your future hangs in the balance. Please contact Tim Bussey and his criminal defense team for a free and confidential consultation to learn more about your rights and options. Call (719) 475-2555 or send us an email.

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What Is a DUI or DWAI Offense in Colorado?

The crime of DUI is defined as driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Colorado law creates a permissive influence of intoxication if the driver has a test result of .08 or higher blood alcohol content (BAC) while operating a motor vehicle, whereas a DWAI requires a driver to have a .05 BAC. For drivers younger than 21, the BAC limit is .02. If you have been arrested for DUI, you may be charged with two criminal offenses. The first offense is driving while impaired, which claims your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle due to alcohol or drugs was affected to the slightest degree. The second offense claims that regardless of your driving ability, your BAC was higher than the legal limit and technically qualifies as intoxication.

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What Is DUI with Injury?

If you crash your car while under the influence of alcohol/drugs, and another person suffers “serious bodily injury” in the accident, you will likely be charged with vehicular assault under Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-3-205. It does not matter if the substance you were using was prescribed by a doctor. Vehicular assault is charged as a class 4 felony in this situation, with penalties ranging from two to four years in state prison, a fine of up to $500,000, and mandatory three-year parole after you are released. Your DUI with injury will be sentenced according to your criminal history and the factors in the case. You may also lose your license, and be found liable to the victim in a personal injury lawsuit.

If someone dies as a result of a drunk driving crash, you will be charged with vehicular homicide (also called “vehicular manslaughter”) - a class 3 felony in this instance. The potential penalties are up to 12 years in state prison, a fine of up to $750,000, loss of your driver’s license, and more. It should be noted that for this charge to result in a conviction, it is enough that you were involved in an accident that caused the death of another person while under the influence of alcohol/drugs. The prosecution does not have to prove that your driving was also “reckless.”

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What Is Probable Cause?

Under Colorado state law, police officers must have a probable cause or reason to pull over a driver for suspected drunk driving. Common signs that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs include swerving into other lanes on the road, failing to brake at intersections, and driving at inconsistent speeds. Without legal justification for pulling a driver over, however, the officer may not have a legitimate case that a crime was committed.

It is not uncommon for a police officer to make an arrest without sufficient evidence of misconduct, but a strong defense lawyer will fight to ensure that your rights are protected. If the officer did not have probable cause, you may be able to successfully refute the DUI charge against you.

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What are Other Possible Defenses Against a Colorado Springs DUI Charge?

An arrest does not necessarily mean you are guilty of the alleged crime. In many cases, a DUI charge may be dismissed or reduced based on errors or mistakes made by the law enforcement or faulty breathalyzers.

  • Failure to read Miranda Rights: In the event that an officer fails to read a suspected driver his or her Miranda Rights before the arrest, anything the driver said or did prior to the arrest may not be admissible at trial.
  • Faulty blood alcohol tests: Breathalyzers and other chemical tests used to decipher a driver’s blood alcohol content are notorious for providing inaccurate readings, which result in unjustified consequences. If an officer fails to administer a test accurately or there is an error in the test itself, the results may be inadmissible in court.
  • Inaccurate field sobriety test results: There are numerous factors that can interfere with a field sobriety test. A police officer must watch a person’s balance, motor skills, and coordination to determine whether a suspected drunk driver is intoxicated; however, poor lighting, medical conditions, slippery roads, and other issues may cause a person to appear under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs even if he or she is not.

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Call a Dedicated DUI Attorney in Colorado Springs

With more than two decades as a Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney, Timothy Bussey has the experience, resources, and connections to confidently provide the guidance his clients need when facing criminal charges. The dedicated team at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure that the drunk driving charges against you are reduced or dropped completely. For a free and confidential case review, please call us at (719) 475-2555 or send us an email.

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