Many cases involving suspected driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol arise in the wake of a serious accident. When authorities arrive on the scene of an accident, they will speak with the driver and, if they suspect the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash, they will likely arrest the driver right there. The prosecutor then may issue DUI charges against the driver. If there were any injuries in the accident, that driver may face additional charges related to the injuries they allegedly caused. Such additional charges can mean significantly more severe consequences for the driver.
Recent Teenager Charged with Vehicular Homicide
Denver media outlets reported that, shortly after 1:00 a.m. on Monday, September 1, 2014, four teenagers were riding in a car driven by a 17-year-old resident of Parker, Colorado. According to the Colorado State Patrol officers, they suspected the driver was speeding excessively, ran a stop sign, lost control, flew through the air and landed in a ditch, while also colliding with a tree.
Two passengers died at the scene of the accident, one of whom was not wearing a safety belt. Another passenger suffered quite serious injuries, while the driver only suffered minor injuries. The driver was placed under arrest on suspicion of DUI and vehicular homicide by law enforcement officers, as they believed both intoxication and dangerous speed played a role in the fatal accident.
Potential Consequences the Driver May Face
First, in order to prove that the driver was under the influence, the prosecutor must prove that he had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of only 0.02 percent at the time of the crash. For most people, the BAC legal limit is 0.08 percent. However, because people under the age of 21 may not legally drink, Colorado “Zero Tolerance” laws lower the limits for young drivers. If a young driver under 21 has a BAC from 0.02 to 0.05 percent, they will likely face charges for Underage Drinking and Driving Offense (UDD). For a BAC over 0.05 percent, they may face the same DUI charges as an adult. DUI could mean extensive fines, probation, and even jail time.
Vehicular homicide involving alcohol or drugs may be charged as a Class 3 felony in Colorado. If convicted, a person may face anywhere from four to 12 years in state prison. If the judge finds there were aggravating circumstances, the prison sentence may be as high as 24 years. If prosecutors do issue charges for both DUI and vehicular homicide, the driver could face severe penalties, even if he is charged in juvenile court.
Contact an Experienced Colorado DUI Attorney for Assistance
If you have been arrested under suspicion of a DUI, you should always consult with an experienced lawyer who understands how to handle DUI cases in Colorado. Attorney Jay Tiftickjian has extensive experience handling cases involving DUI charges, along with any additional charges you may face due to accidents, injuries, or other circumstances surrounding your case. Please call our office today at (303) DUI-5280 for help today.