A one car crash near the Boulder Reservoir left the driver dead and two passengers seriously injured after their car became engulfed in flames. Alcohol and high speed were believed to be factors in the crash. The deceased driver could not be easily identified because of the condition in which his body was found.
The crash occurred after the driver failed to stop at a stop sign and then crashed into a tree, at which point flames engulfed the vehicle. The two passengers were able to escape and were hospitalized with injuries.
It is not clear how high the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was or how the Colorado State Patrol determined he was under the influence, but this crash is still a tragic and sobering reminder of the dangers of drunk driving.
The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence
Driving drunk can not only land you in a lot of trouble, but it can also seriously injure or kill you. This is one of those cases in which the driver suffered the physical consequences of his recklessness more severely than his passengers or other motorists. Very often that is not the case.
Had this driver lived, he would have likely faced charges of DUI and assault due to the injuries suffered by his passengers. However, he has instead suffered a far more severe consequence—the loss of his own life. This driver is now beyond the reach of the law, but he is not better off for it.
Vehicular Assault and Homicide
Had the driver lived, he would likely face Vehicular Assault charges. These serious charges often carry prison time. The vehicular assault statute is Colorado Revised Statute 18-3-205 (searchable here). It reads as follows:
18-3-205. Vehicular assault
(1) (a) If a person operates or drives a motor vehicle in a reckless manner, and this conduct is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another, such person commits vehicular assault.
(b) (I) If a person operates or drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, and this conduct is the proximate cause of a serious bodily injury to another, such person commits vehicular assault. This is a strict liability crime.
Vehicular assault, according to the statute, can arise from mere reckless driving or from reckless driving brought on by intoxication. In the case of mere reckless driving, it is a class 5 felony. In the case of intoxication, it becomes a class 4 felony. A class five felony presumptively carries a one to two year term in prison and a year of parole. A class 4 felony carries a presumptive two to four year term in prison and a year of parole.
In many cases, the major question will be what caused the accident and whether the injury at issue constitutes a serious bodily injury.
Contact a Colorado DUI Defense Attorney
Charges arising from a DUI related accident can be extremely serious. Do not face the court system alone. You need the best defense you can get. At the Tiftickjian firm, we devote our practice to DUI defense. We will work hard to make sure our clients get a fair trial.