DUI with High BAC in Colorado Springs
How Does a High BAC Affect a DUI Case?
All states impose strict prohibitions against operating or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. In support of these legislative schemes, many states have enhanced the penalties for DUIs with what legislators determine is a high BAC. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, over 50% of drunk driving accidents that turned fatal involved vehicle operators who had a blood alcohol content measuring 0.16% or more.
Many people make the mistake of believing that their only option when facing a DUI charge is to plead guilty and accept whatever penalties are given without challenging the case. The truth is that the right attorney may make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. While each case and client are different, The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., has successfully represented clients across Colorado for over 20 years and can explain all your options if you’ve been arrested for DUI with a high BAC.
What Constitutes a DUI?
A person drives under the influence when that individual is substantially incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or both. See C.R.S. § 42-4-1301(1)(f). Prosecutors across the country rely heavily upon chemical tests to prove a person is under the influence. In Colorado, the legislature has indicated that a .08% BAC or BrAC constitutes DUI per se and that fact gives rise to the permissible inference that a person is under the influence of alcohol. See C.R.S. § 42-4-1301(6)(a)(III). A DUI offense, while a misdemeanor, can have major repercussions. These repercussions can be enhanced by a high BAC.
Defending Charges of a DUI with High BAC
In addition to the criminal side of a DUI case, there is the administrative side which involves the potential revocation of a person’s driver’s license. At a DMV hearing, if a hearing officer makes a factual finding that a person operated a motor vehicle and within two hours of operation had a BAC or BrAC greater than 0.15%, the hearing officer will designate the person as a "persistent drunk driver." This designation can apply on a first offense as a reflection of the purported BAC or BrAC. Persistent drunk drivers are required to have an ignition interlock placed in their cars for at least two years in order to reinstate their driving privileges; this restriction is in addition to other requirements for license reinstatement. See C.R.S. § 42-2-132.5(3).
As in all criminal matters of the court, a driver accused of DUI with a high BAC is presumed innocent until the prosecutor proves his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As referenced above, the prosecution will rely heavily upon the purported results of a chemical test in a DUI case. If a person is convicted of DUI or DWAI and found to have had a BAC or BrAC greater than 0.20%, then he or she will be handed a minimum mandatory sentence of at least 10 days in jail.
One tactic to combat this is to discredit the results of the chemical test. There are many different ways that a chemical test can be erroneous, even if it may appear credible on first glance. These can include, but are not limited to, improperly calibrated machines, insufficiently trained test operators, and an unverifiable chain of custody.
There are a number of ways that a lawyer can pursue a defense in an effort to prove that the high BAC was erroneous and secure an acquittal for a client. While each case is different, it’s essential to find out if proper protocol was followed, not only with the testing, but also with the initial traffic stop and arrest. Your lawyer should analyze every aspect of a case in order to mount a solid challenge against the allegations.
The Bussey Law Firm Is Experienced in High BAC Cases
It is crucial for drivers charged with high BAC in a DUI case to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., our team has vast experience with all areas of the law that pertain to driving under the influence, including cases that deal with high BAC. We understand the various aspects of blood alcohol testing and know how to effectively defend against allegations of driving with high BAC. We are here to preserve your freedom and keep your future intact. We are proud to have a reputation that reflects the skills that have made us a top defense firm and will do everything possible to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Contact a Colorado Springs drunk driving defense attorney at our office at (719) 475-2555 to set up a free consultation.