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Colorado DUI Roadblocks: Leading to Reduction in Drunk Driving Cases?

A recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration examined fatal accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers that occurred in 2010. While the number of deaths dropped four percent from 2009 numbers, officials remain concerned by the number of deaths still occurring on roadways.

The numbers show that in 70 percent of these crashes, at least one of the drivers had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher. This means that they were almost twice the legal limit for driving in Colorado.

This information has led to calls for increased DUI enforcement throughout the United States. Officials have also called on states to put tougher penalties in place for those who receive a DUI conviction.

In Colorado, one of the tools that law enforcement frequently uses to control drunk driving is sobriety checkpoints. At these checkpoints, police stop all vehicles passing through the area and check each driver for driving under the influence.

If charged with a DUI as a result of being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, the actions of the police may be an issue. For the checkpoint to be constitutional, law enforcement must comply with certain requirements, including being limited to time and scope, as well as stopping each motorist that passes through the checkpoint.

With the new report released by the NHTSA, police will be more aggressive toward reducing the number of drunk drivers on Colorado roads. Motorists need to be aware of the effect of a DUI conviction. Not only is jail time possible, but offenders may also facing a license suspension for a significant period of time.

Source: Washington Post "Federal officials push for tougher state drunken-driving laws" Ashley Halsey III, August 14, 2012.

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