Generals, movies and restaurants all get stars in recognition of excellence. So, too, do states get stars from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, based on efforts to stop impaired drivers from harming others.
MADD recently released a report rating the 50 states; Colorado is one of 13 states to get the group’s highest rating.
According to Denver’s NBC affiliate, MADD awards a star in recognition of efforts in five different areas:
- Ignition interlock devices: MADD awards a star to states that have laws mandating ignition interlocks for first-time offenders. Colorado gets a star here for its law mandating installation of a device after a first-offense DUI or DUI per se.
- License revocation: MADD also gives stars to states such as Colorado which empower law enforcement to confiscate the driver’s license of those suspected of drunken driving.
- Sobriety checkpoints: the organization applauds the 38 states in which checkpoints are legal (Colorado is one such state).
- Child endangerment laws: these statutes increase penalties for DUI drivers with a minor in the vehicle at the time of arrest. Colorado penalties for a conviction in these cases can be harsh, including jail time, fines and more.
- Expedited warrants: MADD gives stars to states that have judges and prosecutors available to streamline the process of obtaining warrants to compel suspected DUI drivers to take blood tests. Of course, as we noted earlier this week in a blog post, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Colorado’s attempt to “streamline” the process even more by essentially allowing police officers without warrants to force suspects to submit to blood tests.
Colorado’s 5-star rating is more evidence that people facing DUI or DUI per se charges should do all they can to defend themselves against potentially harsh penalties. An attorney experienced in DUI defense can help you pursue your best legal options.