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Denver DUI/DWAI Law Blog

Focus on inherent unfairness of flat fines for traffic violations

The enforcement power of enacted state and federal American laws should apply with equal force to all citizens, right?

We suspect that virtually all Colorado readers of our blog at the Denver criminal defense firm of Shazam Kianpour & Associates believe that to be true. Arguably, a criminal sanction that visits one person more or less severely than another is patently unfair and even morally indefensible.

I'm a Colorado minor: The adult BAC threshold applies to me, right?

Following is a hypothetical (as well as real-life) scenario applicable to Colorado juveniles under the age of 21.

You consumed a single alcoholic beverage a short time ago and flatly know that you are not a danger to yourself or anyone else if you get behind the wheel and enter traffic on any Colorado street or highway.

Does Colorado’s ‘open-container’ law apply to marijuana?

Many drivers are surprised to learn that Colorado actually has an “open container” law for marijuana. Yes, you read that correctly, the state’s open-container laws apply to more than just alcohol.

In fact, the marijuana open-container law is quite strict. Specifically, it states a person in the “passenger area” of a vehicle — i.e. the driver’s seat, the passenger’s seat, the seating behind the driver and any area accessible to the driver or passenger, including the glove compartment — may not knowingly have an open marijuana container while the vehicle is on a public roadway.

CO drivers can't run stop signs -- should cyclists be allowed to?

When Colorado drivers pull up to a stop sign or red light, the law is clear on what they should do: STOP. Similarly, bicyclists in Colorado are also required to stop and wait their turn when they encounter a stop sign or red light -- although some lawmakers are trying to change that with a recently introduced bill.

Under the language of Colorado Senate Bill 18-144, cities and counties would be able to enact an ordinance allowing bicyclists to roll-through stop signs. If this bill is passed, bicyclists would only have to slow down when approaching a stop sign and, when safe to do so, could proceed through the intersection without actually stopping.

DPD officer's case underscores jail alternatives in DUI cases

The following story was bound to get a lot of attention.

And it already has, with pundits stressing contrary views regarding what qualifies as an appropriate response in a case involving a Denver Police Department officer with a demonstrated history of problematic drinking.

Federal judge dismisses marijuana lawsuit

On Monday, a federal judge in New York dismissed a lawsuit brought by a group of plaintiffs who were seeking nationwide legalization of marijuana under federal law.

Among the plaintiffs included a former NFL player and a 12-year-old girl who was forced to move from Texas to Colorado so she could have access to medical marijuana to treat her epilepsy.

CO child abuse-linked statute of limitations bill shot down

Colorado is similar to other states across the country in imposing mandatory reporting requirements upon select individuals having knowledge of sexual abuse being inflicted on children by third parties.

The list of persons tasked with that duty is long. As noted on a relevant Colorado government website addressing mandatory reporting , it centrally includes a number of professionals who are in frequent and close contact with children, including these individuals:

What exactly is the difference between a DUI and a DWAI?

Unlike many other states, Colorado actually has a tiered system when it comes to impaired driving. In fact, depending on a driver’s blood-alcohol-content (BAC) level, they may face very different charges — and different penalties.

For example, if a driver in Colorado registers a BAC of only .05 percent, they may face charges of “driving while ability impaired” (DWAI). Colorado law even states that if a driver’s BAC is above .05 percent, but less than .08 percent, there is the “permissible inference that the [driver’s] ability to operate a motor vehicle […] [is] impaired by the consumption of alcohol.”

Spotlight on Denver Police Department's inaccurate crime data

The Denver Police Department is no different from peer organizations across the country in wanting to be as accurate as possible regarding crime reporting and classification. As a recent Denver Post article duly notes, "Inaccurate or false crime data can damage a department's credibility."

That being the case, the DPD's credibility is likely compromised at least to some degree by a report from last week that the department is now dealing with hundreds of misclassified crime reports filed in prior years.

860 already arrested during DUI enforcement campaigns in 2018

There have already been two DUI enforcement periods this year in Colorado: the Winter Blitz, which took place from January 19 to January 29, and a second DUI blitz that ran for three days over Super Bowl weekend. These DUI crackdowns are part of Colorado’s “The Heat is On” DUI enforcement campaign, which consists of several increased enforcement periods that take place during certain holidays and other major events throughout the year.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the two completed DUI enforcement periods in 2018 have already resulted in 860 arrests, including 601 arrests during the Winter Blitz and 259 arrests over Super Bowl weekend.