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Denver DUI/DWAI Law Blog

Red light cameras; a polarizing police tool in Colorado, nationally

Colorado join select other motorists nationally in subscribing to the stated rationale for red light traffic cameras, and thus accept them.

Others, though, have a decidedly different viewpoint.

Labor Day DUI blitz is over — and there were many DUI citations

A few weeks ago, we told you about the upcoming Labor Day DUI blitz in Colorado. This particular DUI crackdown is part of the state’s larger “The Heat in On” DUI campaign, which consists of 14 specific DUI enforcement periods that occur throughout the year, including the most recent one over Labor Day weekend.

Well, now that Labor Day has come and gone, we now know how many DUI citations were given during this crackdown — and the number is a lot higher than last year.

Looking for a better DUID standard in Colorado, Part 2

A Colorado marijuana advocacy group is, like legions of residents and motorists across the state, less than enthralled with the legal presumption -- the "permissible inference," as termed in our September 8 blog post -- that any motorist with at least five nanograms of THC in his or her blood is driving stoned.

Cannabis Clinicians Colorado views that benchmark as a standard without scientific backing and essentially just arbitrarily applied.

In search of a meaningful "too high to drive" test

We note on our website the firm yet clearly unsatisfactory "5 ng or greater" standard applicable to drivers in Colorado who are suspected of driving after having smoked marijuana.

We point out at Shazam Kianpour & Associates in Denver that a motorist found to have five nanograms or more of THC in his or her blood system can be destined for legal problems, given the "permissible inference" that a motorist with that level of THC is unlawfully driving under the influence of drugs.

Is CO's 5-NG THC limit a reliable measure for impaired driving?

The recreational use of marijuana may be legal under Colorado law, but that doesn't mean you won't be arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs (DUID) if you smoke pot before getting behind the wheel. In fact, Colorado law expressly states that there is a "permissible inference" that drivers are under the influence of drugs if their blood contains five nanograms or more of THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana.

The problem with this five-nanogram limit, however, is that regular marijuana users -- including medical marijuana patients -- routinely have more than five nanograms of THC in their bloodstreams, even after the effects of the drug have long worn off.

What does it mean to be a “persistent drunk driver” in Colorado?

When it comes to drunk driving, Colorado has some tough laws — and the state’s “persistent drunk driver” law is no exception.

While you can probably make your own guess as to what a “persistent drunk driver” is by the name alone, it is important to remember that this terminology is actually defined under Colorado law. Specifically, Colorado law will brand you as a “persistent drunk driver” under the following circumstances:

Personal breathalyzers: these could still get you in trouble

Here's something to consider regarding personal breathalyzers that retail for about 80 bucks and are currently being touted by Colorado officials: Given that the considerably more expensive and sophisticated breathalyzers employed by the Colorado State Patrol and police agencies statewide are sometimes found to deliver erroneous blood-alcohol results, how foolproof can a smartphone app truly be?

Apparently, many state motorists are about to find out, with a campaign underway pursuant to which the Colorado Department of Transportation is urging drivers to splurge on a product made by the company BACtrack. Until October kicks in, BACtrack will be selling the personal breathalyzer at about a 20% discount. The CDOT actively promotes the purchase.

‘The Heat is On’ for Colorado drivers this Labor Day

Colorado is in the middle of yet another DUI crackdown — making it the fifth one this summer since, and including, Memorial Day weekend.

From August 18 until September 5, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and local law enforcement departments will be joining forces to target suspected drunk drivers as part of the state’s “The Heat is On” DUI enforcement campaign. In total, more than 110 law enforcement agencies will take part in this annual three-week DUI crackdown that runs through Labor Day weekend.

You're about to see more -- many more -- police out on CO roads

When a Colorado media source refers to an imminently upcoming law enforcement initiative as "the most aggressive effort of the year to snag drunk drivers," that truly means something.

The implications are rendered instantly clear from just a quick glance at 2016-related numbers relevant to the same campaign.

Which state has the toughest DUI laws? Where does Colorado rank?

According to a recent report by WalletHub, Colorado ranks 11th in the nation when it comes to which states have the strictest stance on driving under the influence (DUI). While Arizona received the top ranking, Colorado's placement in the 11th spot means The Centennial State takes a more aggressive stance on DUI than 39 other states and the District of Columbia (D.C.), as outlined in the report.

This particularly high ranking for Colorado probably isn't a surprise to many, especially given the recent changes to the state's felony DUI law requiring mandatory jail time in certain situations.