Next time you are at a bar getting a drink, consider the fact that the bartender or other employees there might become part of a DUI investigation against you. If you wind up being pulled over, investigated and arrested for allegedly drunk driving, authorities might want to go to the source of the alcohol in order to fully stock their pile of evidence against a driver.
Unsurprisingly, however, bar and restaurant workers might not be so eager to answer investigators’ questions. That’s because the law also allows servers and establishments to become criminal targets due to a supposed drunk driving incident. Critics of this law question whether establishments should really be blamed at all for the choices of a supposedly intoxicated driver.
This matter is at the center of a Colorado drunk driving case. A 56-year-old was arrested in Colorado after causing a head-on collision. He is charged with DUI, reckless driving and vehicular assault after the crash that injured two people. Though authorities might have some evidence to use against the defendant, it isn’t looking like any of that evidence is coming from the bars where the defendant supposedly drank.
Even though sources claim that the defendant told police he was drinking at bars in Boulder on the night in question, those establishments have not confirmed that account. They say that it was busy and that they don’t recognize the defendant’s picture. These claims won’t mean that the defendant will no longer be charged with DUI, but they could protect the establishments from criminal prosecution and fines. Cases like these are more common, however, in civil court, when families go after bars for over serving patrons who drink, drive and injure or kill someone.
The criminal trial against the supposed drunk driver in this case won’t resume until later next month. His case will be taken particularly seriously due to the defendant’s history of multiple DUI convictions.
Source: Boulder Daily, “Investigators unsure where driver in Diagonal head-on drank night of DUI crash,” Mitchell Byars, July 25, 2012