The Academy Awards are popular occasion for parties in homes all over America. The pageantry, the comedy, the beauty and charisma of the stars, and the chance to root for your favorite films and actors are all part of the draw. Just as the stars celebrate with fine foods and cocktails to mark the Oscars, so do partygoers. While nominees are being squired about Los Angeles in limousines, most regular people drive themselves to and from festivities – especially if living in an area where public transport and taxis are scarce. This scenario, for the ordinary person, can result in trouble if it leads to drinking and driving. Unlike a film or football game, the Academy Awards last for roughly four hours. So much time, combined with festivities, can lead to more cocktails than you might imagine. Get behind the wheel to drive home after such a night, and you are potentially looking at DUI or DWAI stop and arrest in the state of Colorado. If this is the situation you find yourself in, you need a skilled and experienced Denver DUI attorney.
Penalties for DUI and DWAI in Colorado are Harsh
Colorado does not want its residents drinking and driving. The same goes for consuming marijuana and driving, or combining substances. The Rocky Mountains are already challenging enough to wind up, down, and around; to add impairment due to alcohol or marijuana consumption is a risk that the state is not willing to tolerate. So, if you drink and drive and get caught, the state will punish you in an effort to deter you from even thinking about making the same mistake twice. We are talking fines and fees, driver’s license suspension, mandatory drug and alcohol education, compulsory attendance of a victim impact panel, and even jail time – especially if it is not your first DUI/DWAI conviction, you are below the legal drinking age, or you caused an accident that resulted in personal injuries. Do not forget about the damage to your reputation. Reputational damage is especially worrisome for those seeking employment or educational opportunities, as well as those seeking to earn and/or maintain professional licenses (e.g. lawyers, doctors, pilots). For all these reasons, you have a very strong interest in mounting the strongest possible defense against a DUI or DWAI charge in Colorado.
Defending Against DUI/DWAI Charges in Colorado
To make a valid stop and arrest for DUI or DWAI in Colorado, a police officer must first possess probable cause. Probable cause is a reasonable suspicion that you are driving while impaired. For example, erratic driving, swerving, and the visible presence of an open container of alcohol in your vehicle all amount to a reasonable suspicion, and thus probable cause. Even after a stop with probable cause, the officer must correctly administer a test to measure the ratio of alcohol to blood in your system. Any deficiencies in probable cause or impairment testing may be grounds for a dismissal or reduction of the charges against. To protect your legal rights, contact a skilled and experienced Denver DUI defense attorney now.