High-profile DUI arrests or accidents often lead to calls for changes in the potential penalties that are in place for those who are convicted. Even first-time DUI offenders know that they are facing some serious consequences, which may include jail time.
When a person is injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, the penalties will be even more severe. A recent accident has led to a review of some of the DUI laws currently in effect in Colorado, and has led many to call for increased jail time.
The accident highlights a very divisive issue in Colorado law. Prosecutors may need to conduct an extensive investigation after the accident to discover which laws applied, as the timing could determine which crimes would be charged.
Colorado case law does not extend vehicular homicide to cover unborn children. There have been several attempts to extend these laws, but so far, each effort has failed to advance in the state legislature. This means that a person could be potentially facing charges of vehicular assault, which carry less severe penalties.
Some legislators have pledged to reintroduce the proposal in future sessions. This could increase the jail time that might be facing an individual who has caused an injury or death in an accident while driving under the influence.
These are very difficult matters to handle. When reviewing the accident, it will be important to learn specific information to determine which laws will apply. Once this has been resolved, individuals can understand how best to approach their case.
Source: Longmont Times-Call “Memorial for unborn baby lost in DUI wreck set for Monday” Magdalena Wegrzyn, July 13, 2012.