Driving under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)

New laws, tougher minimum penalties, new driver’s license rules!  At the same time, new breath test machines and a state laboratory shutting down blood tests, and the state hiding reports of misconduct at the lab!  DUIs are as complicated as ever today.

These are only some of what is going on with DUIs in Colorado today.  There are a multitude of issues to be considered, from whether you were pulled over and arrested lawfully, to whether the roadside tests were reliable, to whether blood or breath test instruments were working correctly. And the consequences can be severe including probation, jail time, and driver’s license revocations.

DUIs are not all that simple.  Consider the different DUI type laws out there.

First there is the basic Driving Under the Influence.  This is driving while alcohol or drugs makes you “substantially incapable” of driving safely.  Basically, that is drunk driving.

Then there is Driving While Ability Impaired.  This is driving while alcohol or drugs affects you to the “slightest degree” so you were “less able” than normal to safely drive.  Essentially, it is buzzed driving.

Then there is Driving With Excessive Alcohol Content which is driving with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.

Beyond this, there are presumptions and inferences based on levels of alcohol and marijuana.  For alcohol, 0.08 or higher in a permissible inference of DUI.  Higher than 0.05 but less than 0.08 is a permissible inference of DWAI.  And under 0.05 presumes no DUI or DWAI.  Over 5 nanograms of THC per mililiter of blood is a permissible inference of DUI due to marijuana.  However, no levels are set for more serious drugs or medication, leaving the decision based on behavior instead of levels of the drug or medicine.

There are particular time periods, methods of testing, and equipment that must be maintained.  And the tests on the side of the road have a high degree of inaccuracy.  And the permissible inferences do not require a finding of guilt.

Unfortunately, many lawyers do not look at everything they can do in the case.  Many people think that if they are over the limit on the police test, the case is over.  All too many defense lawyers take advantage of their own clients by trying to plea them out after doing little work.  They hardly look at discovery, do not consider additional testing or getting documentation that has not been turned over by the prosecutor.  And if they can be motivated to write a motion, expect one page with little research or legal argument.  And they forget about speaking to witnesses!  Consider why so many lawyers will take a DUI case but refuse a difficult case or an appeal.  Many will be happy to plea you out and refuse a trial.

I am different.  I have handled countless DUI cases and have had success both in trial and in getting evidence thrown out before trial. I have worked with experts on the roadside tests, the blood alcohol tests, and drug tests. I will go over all your options and look for any possible defense.  Whether you are looking for fair treatment to minimize the penalties, seeking to challenge the evidence before trial, or fight the case all the way through trial, I can help.