Being accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), or being accused of the lesser infringement of driving while ability impaired (DWAI), are serious situations. Under Colorado law, persons charged with these offenses may be subject to fines, mandatory counseling, probation, and possibly jail time.
Many people believe they can avoid these charges if they drink moderately and respect their own limitations in regards to alcohol. However, everyone responds to alcohol consumption differently. An amount that barely affects one person may substantially impair another person.
There are many factors that can affect someone’s reaction to the alcohol they consume. For instance, a person’s body weight or mass, the amount or types of food they have eaten during the day, a person’s tolerance, and their rate of consumption all dictate how they will respond to alcohol consumption.
For these reasons, it is impossible for someone to know if they are over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level without the aid of chemical analysis of their breath, blood, or urine.
Individuals who think they are not especially impaired may attempt to drive “safely” to avoid raising any red flags with law enforcement. A buzzed driver may think that by keeping their vehicle between the lines of the road, signaling all turns and lane changes, stopping fully at all stop signs, and not exceeding the speed limit they can keep from being pulled over.
Further Reading: Colorado DUI Penalties Can be Severe
The truth, however, is that several “non-moving violations” exist that can legally facilitate a traffic stop. Law enforcement officers use some of these non-moving violations commonly to stop drivers they are interested in investigating more closely:
· Non-functioning taillights and headlights
· Broken or missing license plate lights
· Expired or improperly-displayed license plate
· Darkly tinted windows
· Non-use of seatbelt
· Throwing litter from the vehicle
· Illegal parking
Given the neighborhood, the time of day or night, the parking area from where the vehicle is leaving, or the age or gender of the driver, law enforcement officers may actively seek out these kinds of violations in order to pull a motorist over.
Law enforcement officers are fully within their rights to stop a motorist for any of these non-moving violations, and engage the motorist in conversation to look for indicators that the motorist is intoxicated. Many times, a legal stop for a non-moving violation of which the motorist was completely unaware, can lead to a DUI case.
Contact Our Boulder DUI Defense Attorneys
If you have been arrested for DUI in Boulder or anywhere in the State of Colorado, it is important to fight these charges aggressively and protect your driving record. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.