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Colorado DUI arrests during Super Bowl time

The Colorado State Patrol has announced that it arrested 421 individuals for DUI over Super Bowl weekend. This is close to 150 arrests more than occurred during Super Bowl weekend in 2012.

The highest number of arrests in Colorado occurred in the Denver area, and a large number of arrests also took place in Aurora and in Colorado Springs. There was one alcohol-related death reported from February 1st through the 4th.

There are a few things that need to be kept in mind when reviewing these sorts of statistics. The increased number of arrests is more likely a result of increased enforcement on the road than any perceived increase in people drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel and driving. Also, simply because an arrest occurred is not the same as saying that all of the individuals arrested were actually guilty of what they were charged.

When law enforcement is out in force, officers are not permitted to randomly pull drivers over while having them go through a barrage of field sobriety tests or submissions to breathalyzer or blood tests. There needs to be probable cause or some sort of reasonable basis for pulling people over.

What often happens is that officers will conveniently notice individuals making wider turns at intersections or possibly having license plate tabs that were expired. Yet once they've pulled individuals over, the chances of noting behavior that may be associated with drinking is more likely.

DUI defense attorneys do not condone drinking and driving. However, these attorneys do understand that individuals are provided certain protections under the federal and state constitutions and laws. We cannot abandon these protections simply to make additional arrests.

Source: Fox 31 Denver, "Record number of DUI arrests over Super Bowl weekend," Feb. 14, 2013

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