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Denver DUI/DWAI Law Blog

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.

Colorado governor's office growingly activist on pot crimes

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's final year in office promises to be busy across a number of fronts.

Marijuana-related sentencing reform would reasonably seem to be at the top of the to-do list for the state's leading executive as he deals with 2018 and eyes the future.

Spotlight on federal/state collusion in evidence matters, Part 2

The bottom line expressed in our immediately preceding blog post is clear-cut. It underscores the need for a proven criminal defense attorney to subject every piece of evidence against a client to closest scrutiny.

We note in our February 5 entry that the importance of that task cannot be overstated, given the potential for tainted evidence that exists in any given case.

What is "parallel construction," and should it concern Americans?

Maybe it was nothing more than the lucky break that law enforcers and prosecutors say it was. The driver simply made a questionable lane change on a freeway outside Denver and was pulled over. And, behold, multiple police officers who just happened to converge at the roadside stop discovered several kilos of cocaine in the car.

Result: arrest and conviction.

Lawmakers reject attempts to close loophole in CO texting law

Last week, we told you about Colorado Senate Bill 49, which is a bill that seeks to close a perceived loophole in the state’s current texting-while-driving law that many believe legalizes texting for certain drivers.

Just days after we posted that blog, however, state lawmakers voted the legislation down, meaning this loophole is going to remain open for the near future.

Warm in January: once again, DUI enforcement heat brought to bear

You know the drill, of course.

We suspect that virtually every Colorado motorist has grown closely attuned to the ramped-up police efforts to spot, arrest and criminally convict drunk drivers that regularly feature across the state.

Standardized test for marijuana intoxication still elusive

The Colorado Department of Transportation says that "any amount of marijuana consumption puts you at risk of driving impaired" and warns that you cannot judge your own level of impairment. The official DUID threshold for marijuana is five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but officers are expected to base DUID arrests on the things they observe that indicate impairment.

Many law enforcement officers in Colorado are specially trained on recognizing driving impairments caused by drugs. Agencies also commonly rely on trained drug recognition experts. Among criminal defense attorneys, training programs such as Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement or advanced drug recognition are controversial. They offer the promise of a scientific, fact-based evaluation of a person's actual degree of impairment, but the techniques often seem to be based on relatively flimsy evidence.

Lawmakers are trying to make Colorado’s seat belt law stricter

Under current Colorado law, seat belt violations are considered a secondary offense, meaning police can only cite a driver for not wearing a seat belt if the driver is already pulled over for another alleged offense.

Some Colorado lawmakers, however, are hoping to change all this with the introduction of Colorado Senate Bill 53.

Judicially, criminal lineups are a big deal: Why?

If you are in criminal custody in Colorado and instructed to enter a room at the police station along with several other individuals to participate in a lineup, you might reasonably have some concerns.

There is an alleged eyewitness to criminal conduct -- e.g., a sex crime, drug deal or theft offense -- on the other side of that darkened glass partition. Who is that person? Is he or she credible? Will any forthcoming identification be accurate and confidently delivered? Might it be tainted by improper nudges or suggestions from police investigators?