Colorado District Attorneys in Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson County complained and This law means you can still be convicted of DUI, even if you were found innocent at trial. The legislature has responded. Defense attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group and other firms were apparently winning too many DUI / DWAI trials. So, an additional law provides that even if you are found innocent of DUI and DWAI at trial (you were driving safely), you can still be convicted of DUI by having a certain blood alcohol level or greater.
Safety isn't Considered: Only the Numbers
It makes no difference whether you were driving drunk. This law ignores the fact that some people can safely operate their motor-vehicle at greater blood alcohol levels than others. Colorado again emphasizes the “one size fits all” mentality which has failed us so many times in the past.
Excessive Blood Alcohol Content for Drivers
Here is what the law provides:
“42-4-1301(2)(a): A person who drives a motor vehicle or vehicle when the person's BAC is 0.08 or more at the time of driving or within two hours after driving commits DUI per se. During a trial, if the state's evidence raises the issue, or if a defendant presents some credible evidence, that the defendant consumed alcohol between the time that the defendant stopped driving and the time that testing occurred, such issue shall be an affirmative defense, and the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the minimum 0.08 blood or breath alcohol content required in this paragraph (a) was reached as a result of alcohol consumed by the defendant before the defendant stopped driving. DUI per se is a misdemeanor, but it is a class 4 felony if the violation occurred after three or more prior convictions, arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, for DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI; vehicular homicide, as described in section 18-3-106(1)(b), C.R.S.; vehicular assault, as described in section 18-3-205(1)(b), C.R.S.; or any combination thereof.”
“42-4-1301(2)(b): In any prosecution for the offense of DUI per se, the defendant shall be entitled to offer direct and circumstantial evidence to show that there is a disparity between what any tests show and other facts so that the trier of fact could infer that the tests were in some way defective or inaccurate. Such evidence may include testimony of nonexpert witnesses relating to the absence of any or all of the common symptoms or signs of intoxication for the purpose of impeachment of the accuracy of the analysis of the person's blood or breath.”
Excessive Blood Alcohol Content for Drivers Under 21
In addition to the harsh penalties listed above, those driving in Adams and Douglas County under the age of 21 will have an additional burden when driving with minimal levels of alcohol in their system:
“42-4-1301(2)(d)(I): It is a class A traffic infraction for any person under twenty-one years of age to drive a motor vehicle or vehicle when the person's BAC, as shown by analysis of the person's breath, is at least 0.02 but not more than 0.05 at the time of driving or within two hours after driving. The court, upon sentencing a defendant pursuant to this subparagraph (I) may order, in addition to any penalty imposed under a class A traffic infraction, that the defendant perform up to twenty-four hours of useful public service, subject to the conditions and restrictions of section 18-1.3-507, C.R.S., and may further order that the defendant submit to and complete an alcohol evaluation or assessment, an alcohol education program, or an alcohol treatment program at such defendant's own expense.” These laws make it easier for DAs to get a conviction for DUI and DWAI.
Each of these laws makes it easier for District Attorneys to obtain a conviction in Colorado for driving and driving offenses. These convictions can be obtained strictly by the “numbers” alone, without regard to the danger presented to the public by a motor vehicle operator's driving. Blood alcohol levels are now criminalized.