Denver’s NBC TV affiliate and PBS station recently reported on their investigation into drivers facing legal problems. The stations said they analyzed 45,637 cases of DUI in Colorado in the past two years and found that about one out of every four of those cases involved a driver who was behind the wheel without a valid driver’s license.
The analysis did not include Denver County because law enforcement officials said they are for some reason unable to determine which DUI cases involved drivers without licenses and which did not.
However, the report did note that if Denver drivers are like drivers elsewhere in the state, it would mean about 14,000 people who got DUIs in 2012 and 2013 were driving without valid licenses. In 3,000 of those cases, the loss of license was due to a DUI or DWAI conviction.
In those two years, there were approximately 59,000 DUI arrests made in the state. That breaks down to about 80 DUIs per day, of which 19 would be for people without licenses.
The report noted that there are some pretty wide discrepancies between different jurisdictions. For instance, in Boulder only 13 percent of DUIs didn’t have a valid license, while in Pueblo the figure was almost three times as high (36 percent).
That huge difference between the two casts doubt on the TV stations’ speculation that Denver drivers fall on the statistical average for the state.
However, there is no doubt that when people are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and they do not have in their possession a valid driver’s license, they face potentially harsh punishment. It makes sense for them to decline to discuss the circumstances of their case with police or a prosecutor until they can talk it over with an experienced attorney.
Source: NBC Denver, “1 in 4 drunk drivers in Colorado doesn’t have a license,” Whitney Wild, May 15, 2014