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Protecting your rights when suspected of DUI

You've likely heard that drunk drivers cause approximately half of all fatal accidents in Colorado. Statistics suggest such estimations are high. Although any life lost because a person drove drunk is one life too many, it's worth noting that not every person pulled over and charged with DUI is guilty of the crime. Also, if you are charged with driving under the influence (or any other criminal offense) you are presumed innocent unless proved otherwise in court. Not every drunk driving charge results in conviction.

Motorists, like all other citizens in the United States, have rights. Police officers, while permitted by virtue of authority to make arrests and charge people with crimes as they deem necessary, do not have free rein when it comes to the process involved in such matters. In short, there are strict protocols to which all law enforcement officers must adhere when approaching a driver in an official capacity.

The National Motorist Association weighs in on the topic

As motorist advocates, the National Motorist Association has taken active interest in our criminal justice system as it relates to DUI. In fact, the association has developed basic tenets to promote fair and effective solutions to lowering drunk driving incidents while protecting every driver's personal rights. Consider the following information included in these tenets:

  • Penalties for DUI conviction should align with the degree of risk involved, as well as coincide with violation penalties for other traffic offenses.
  • All motorists should enjoy the same rights and privileges as all Americans.
  • Actual evidence (or lack thereof) of intoxicated driving should take precedence over an arresting officer's impressions or assumptions.
  • Impairment levels may vary even when blood alcohol content levels are the same.

In light of the final fact listed above, the National Motorist Association has suggested that if a national standard is to be used for blood alcohol content levels, the percentage should be high enough that all drivers' impairment levels would typically be affected. Some say the percentage would need to be at least .12 for this to be the case.

Where to turn for help with a DUI charge

Just because you have imbibed a drink or two while enjoying a night on the town does not necessarily mean you are breaking the law if you then drive a car. The problem is, even if you're able to avoid conviction, the fact that you were charged in the first place may negatively impact your life. If your particular situation involved a motor vehicle accident where someone was injured, it may be even more challenging.

Whether you are sure of your innocence or suffered a momentary lapse of judgment that led to your current situation, it never hurts to consult with an experienced defense attorney before going to court. This type of representation may greatly increase your chances of obtaining a positive outcome.

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