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New Colorado would-be law addresses privacy element in DUI cases

It is assuredly anything but a secret that the repercussions flowing from a behind-the-wheel drinking-related arrest and conviction in Colorado can be both myriad and severe.

A quick finger count of the potential downsides that can be enumerated includes outcomes like the following: license suspension or revocation; job loss or an undermining of opportunity to pursue new jobs or careers; higher insurance premiums or canceled/denied coverage; court costs, fines and other monetary penalties; mandatory attendance in alcohol/drug programs; community service requirements and probation.

And, of course, jail or even prison time in select instances.

On top of that, there is this, too: a stigma that can attach when the specifics of a Colorado drunk driving incident make it into the public domain.

As noted in a recent Colorado media story concerning the public disclosure of DUI/DWI-related details, "how intoxicated the person was in roadside tests" has long been "a common detail in drunk-driving stories."

That can be painful, of course, for any motorist whose personal information is divulged.

Moreover, it can certainly be reasonably argued that, quite frankly, there is no legitimate need for the general public and complete strangers to be apprised of such deeply personal information.

In other words: It's none of their business.

That now seems to be the consensus view of the Colorado Senate, which recently endorsed -- and unanimously so -- a bill that would bar BAC test results from public scrutiny in the future.

The bill now seems imminently headed for the Colorado House.

As written, the draft legislation would greatly limit the parties who would receive test data, confining it narrowly to entities with a direct involvement in a DUI matter (e.g., case attorneys and enforcement officials).

We will be sure to provide readers with any material updates that surface regarding the bill.

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