Common DUI Defenses: Part Two

As we mentioned in the first part of this series, not every defense will work for every situation. That is why it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the various nuances of Colorado DUI law. Jay Tiftickjian has written extensively on the Colorado DUI process, and the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm can help you understand exactly what options might be available to you in your Colorado DUI defense. Below are some additional defenses that may help you fight your DUI charge.

Procedural Issues

If it turns out that all of the evidence being used against to can be admitted, there still exists the potential that the state will violate one of the many intricate rules of evidence or procedure at some point in the trial. This can result in evidence being deemed inadmissible, and may even result in charges being dismissed in some extreme circumstances. Not only must your DUI attorney have a keen understanding of the methods involved in collecting, storing, and evaluating evidence, but also knowledge about how such evidence is submitted at the actual trial.

There may also be some serious procedural violations prior to trial. For instance, depending on the circumstances of your DUI arrest, it may have been necessary for law enforcement officers to have read you a Miranda warning. Failure to do so often means any evidence gained from interrogation will be deemed inadmissible in court. Even attempts at interrogating a suspect after a warning advising you of your rights has been given may be illegal if the person charged has requested legal counsel.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can impact your blood alcohol concentration. For instance, some medical conditions like diabetes can produce elevated amounts of mouth alcohol. Mouth alcohol will often register on breath testing devices and create an elevated reading, which may mean that even though your test results indicate you were above the legal limit to operate a vehicle, the elevated reading may have ultimately been due to a medical condition. Certain items like breath fresheners or even some medications can also have an impact on some of the blood alcohol concentration readings, so it is important to communicate as many details with your attorney about the incident surrounding your DUI charges as possible. Experienced DUI attorneys understand the science behind determining an individual’s blood alcohol concentration and what factors may have had an impact on your results.

Working with Your Attorney

As with any criminal proceeding, it is important to work with an attorney who has experience facing the type of charges you are up against. The Tiftickjian Law Firm focuses their practice on helping clients facing Colorado DUI and/or related charges. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to start working with an attorney as quickly as possible to make sure that your rights are protected and that important evidence can be collected and evaluated. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about how to approach your DUI situation.

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Common DUI Defenses: Part One

There are many types of legal defenses in criminal actions like DUI prosecutions in Colorado. One of the most important steps in successfully defending against DUI charges is making sure that you understand the various defenses that might be available in your circumstances and why some of them will or will not work for you. In this two-part series, we will explore many common DUI defenses.

Prove the Officer Made an Error

An officer needs a legal reason to stop you. Crossing the median line or failing to signal before turning can be legitimate excuses for being pulled over in the first place. However, an officer typically has to be able to articulate the reason you were initially pulled over.

Errors can also occur at other stages of the DUI investigation and arrest process. There may be errors in roadside sobriety testing and, if you submitted to such testing, errors in that process can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Generally, it is more beneficial for you to decline to perform roadside sobriety testing, including portable breathalyzers. Submitting to these tests usually only serves to provide law enforcement with additional evidence to use against you, but if you have submitted to them, then it is important for your attorney to ensure that the tests were administered accurately.

Prove an Issue with Evidence

Evidence is extremely important in a Colorado DUI case. For instance, the amount of time between when you are initially stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and when you actually have your blood alcohol concentration tested can have a significant impact on the results of your testing.

Evidence could also be challenged if there is an issue with the custody of the evidence – meaning who took, stored, labeled, and handled the evidence. Furthermore, it is important to work with a lawyer who has a keen understanding of the evidence used in DUI cases so that he or she can make sure all equipment has been calibrated in accordance with the law and meets other important standards. Evidence, no matter how scientific it is, is not always completely accurate and there are rigid requirements in place to make sure that it can be used.

Your Attorney’s Role

Every individual DUI has its own unique set of circumstances. The defense techniques and strategies that work in one situation may not work in others. Often, you will notice a number of different approaches to your Colorado DUI defense. That is why it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm understands the nuances of DUI defense and the importance of exploring all available defenses when working with you. If you are facing a Colorado DUI, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about what the charges might mean for you as well as how you may be able to try and fight them.

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The Problem With ‘One Drink Per Hour’

Many people mistakenly believe that if they only consume one drink per hour, or that if they wait the same number of hours as drinks they have consumed throughout the night before driving, that they are sober enough to drive. This is one of the most common myths about drinking and driving, and one that needs to have some light shed upon it in order to help people make more informed choices about drinking and driving. While trying to stick to only having one drink per hour can be an effective way to pace your drinking throughout the evening, it is not the safest approach to driving after you have consumed alcohol. Below is more information as to why.

The Origin

Every myth comes from somewhere, and the idea that one drink per hour will keep you sober is no exception. The myth stems from scientific experiments conducted in the early part of the 1900s that helped create a formula that could estimate a person’s blood alcohol concentration. A physician tested subjects who had been drinking based on the individual’s weight and gender, the amount of time that passed since the individual began drinking, and of course, how much alcohol the individual had consumed.

Modern Issues

The problem is that nowadays, there is no “universal level” of alcohol in drinks. A shot of whiskey could have more alcohol than a beer with a lower alcohol by volume percentage, but some strong beers could have much more alcohol. In an age where we still tend to supersize just about anything we can, drinks are no exception. We often find ourselves choosing the more economical large drink because we figure we would have had two drinks otherwise, which may have cost more. However, the large drink may have two or more times the alcohol of a normal drink, which can cause you to become far more intoxicated from one drink than even if you had two over a longer period of time.

Test subjects in the original experiment were also quite similar in age and weight. Both age and weight can impact how alcohol affects us, if for no other reason than as we age we tend to retain more fat and that can have an impact on how our body metabolizes alcohol. Fat typically holds less water, which means our bodies have less of a chance to utilize water to dilute alcohol in our system and prevent sudden spikes in intoxication. In addition to potentially helping avoid certain hangover symptoms, water and hydration can be important factors in other areas related to alcohol consumption, too.

Additionally, as with many experiments, the scientist that created the formula that began the one drink per hour myth controlled and monitored how much each participant in his studies had to drink. That helped him maintain accurate records to make more accurate predictions. However, it is not always possible to have a clear understanding of just how much alcohol one has consumed. In addition to the factors discussed above, we are not always aware of exactly how much alcohol is in our mixed drinks and craft cocktails. It is not uncommon for these drinks to have double or even triple the amount of alcohol found in one drink, so consuming just one of these certainly risks putting you over the legal limit to drive no matter what the old saying says.

Legal Assistance with Colorado DUIs

Guessing is an imprecise approach to determining your blood alcohol concentration. The only sure way to make sure that you are sober enough to drive is to make sure that you do not mix alcohol and driving. However, if you are facing Colorado DUI charges, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected and that you do not have to face these serious charges alone. For help with your Colorado DUI or related charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more about what your charges might mean for you as well as what options might be available in your defense.

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Tips for Avoiding a Holiday DUI

As the holidays approach, so do the opportunities to celebrate. Whether we are celebrating with family or friends, we often find ourselves facing alcohol and the need to drive. The most important thing to remember this holiday season and throughout the year is that the only absolutely safe driving is sober driving. Not drinking and driving is the only sure way to avoid a holiday DUI. However, there are some tips and suggestions that can help you make more informed choices about alcohol and driving as you enjoy holiday parties and other festivities in a responsible way.

Rely on Responsibility

If you are relying on a designated driver, make sure it is someone you trust. Often, you may find yourself in a position where drinking has impaired your judgment. This can land you in situations just as dangerous as if you were to drive, especially if the person you have been counting on to be your designated driver has not lived up to the commitment.

Be Conscious of What You Drink

It is important to keep an accurate record of what you have had to drink as well as how much. This is an important first step in making sure that you make responsible choices when it comes to getting behind the wheel. Keep in mind that one drink does not always mean the same thing, and some drinks may be much stronger than others. Keeping a watchful eye on these things can help you make safe choices about how much to drink, if at all, and when to stop in order to be sober enough to drive legally.

Eat Plenty of Food and Stay Hydrated

Food and water can play an important role in consuming alcohol. Water helps dilute alcohol and can have a significant impact on the complex process associated with the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Likewise, food is an important player. Eating before and while drinking can help your body slow down its absorption of alcohol, which may in turn prevent sharp spikes in your level of intoxication. However, both of these factors are part of the reason that relying on the old adage that one drink per hour will keep you sober is not a safe approach to drinking and driving. Neither water nor food will make you sober, but these two things can help you stay at a level where your judgment is more sound.

Have a Plan

If you are visiting family that lives a distance from you, it may be a better idea to plan to spend the night with them. You can even choose nearby hotels that you could utilize if you are not in a position to drive home. Of course, getting to the hotel requires you to make sure you have a designated driver or a reliable way to get to your room. Ride-sharing services, where available, can make these back-up plans more convenient and less of a hassle for everyone involved. Make sure you have an account ready to go should you find yourself several hours from home or even several minutes. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and making sure you have a safe plan in place if you cannot drive is a smart decision during the holidays and throughout the year.

Use an Experienced DUI Attorney

No matter how many precautions you take to make sure you are operating a vehicle safely and responsibly, it is still possible to make the mistake of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. If you are facing Colorado DUI charges, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more about what your DUI charges might mean for you and what options could be available in your defense.

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Holiday DUI Enforcement Periods

The holidays are often a joyous time. They are an opportunity spend time with friends and family, including those further away who we may not see as often. Many times, part of our holiday traditions involve alcohol. Whether we are making a toast to our close family or celebrating after work with our coworkers, alcohol is often front and center. As long as we use alcohol responsibly, it does not have to interfere with our safety and well-being. But during periods of the year when we are more likely to engage in drinking and subsequently driving, law enforcement is more likely to be on the streets looking for drivers operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Upcoming Enforcement Periods

The Halloween enforcement period ended on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. According to a recent article from CBS-Denver, last year saw almost 300 people arrested statewide on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, with 45% of Halloween traffic fatalities involving drunk driving between 2011 and 2015. However, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are just around the corner. That means preparing for increased police presence on highways throughout the state, increased public awareness campaigns, and even increased DUI checkpoints throughout Colorado as part of its annual “The Heat Is On” enforcement campaign. The Thanksgiving enforcement period is the next scheduled enforcement period, running from November 17 through November 27. The holiday party enforcement period and Christmas/New Year’s enforcement will follow thereafter.

Between Christmas and New Year’s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations says the average number of alcohol-related fatalities rises around 34%. That is an alarming increase during a short period of time, and increase state law enforcement officials hope to see disappear through proactive measures in reducing the number of impaired drivers on Colorado roadways. The Colorado Department of Transportation offers first-time riders a ride-sharing service discount. There are also numerous smartphone applications and even personal breathalyzers to help you stay aware of your approximate level of intoxication. However, the only safe driving and the only way to avoid a Colorado DUI during the holidays is to drive sober.

Legal Assistance with Your Colorado DUI Charges

Even with the many alternatives to drinking and driving, including designating a sober driver or utilizing ride-sharing services, it is still possible to misjudge one’s own ability to drive. If you make the mistake of driving under the influence of alcohol, it is important to remain aware of your rights so that you can exercise them if you find yourself facing law enforcement. Facing these charges can be less intimidating when you work with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney. Jay Tiftickjian has written extensively on the Colorado criminal defense process and DUIs, and his team can put that experience to work for you. If you are facing a Colorado DUI, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing and what options might be available to you in your defense.

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Common Myths About DUIs: Part Two

 

As you may have read in the first part of this series, there are some common myths and misconceptions surrounding DUIs, not only in Colorado, but nationwide. Understanding more about how these myths and misconceptions may impact you is an important part of making smart driving choices and ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the DUI process.

Breathalyzers are Always Accurate

Every experienced DUI attorney knows that this is not automatically true. Like any piece of equipment, a breathalyzer can malfunction. It must be calibrated and tested regularly according to state law. Failure to do so can invalidate the breathalyzer results, and therefore invalidate the use of it as evidence against you. An experienced DUI attorney knows where to look and what to look for to ensure that the breathalyzer used in your case is in line with regulations and provided an accurate reading. The timing of a breathalyzer test can also be extremely important. If too much time passes between your detention by law enforcement and the actual test, then it is possible that the breathalyzer results are higher than they would have been had immediate testing occurred.

Honesty is the Best Policy

While true in many important situations in life, it may not be the best advice when it comes to DUIs. It is never a good idea to lie to police officers, but letting them know you have had one or two drinks, especially if you know that you have had several more than that, is not going to get you off the hook. For DUIs, the best advice is to say nothing at all. Much like simply refusing roadside sobriety testing, you do not have to answer an officer’s questions and can tell them, politely, that you are exercising your right not to answer. The more information you provide, no matter how innocent the information may seem, the more likely you are to be helping law enforcement build a case against you.

Sleeping it Off Makes You Sober

It is commonly thought that having one drink per hour or simply waiting to drive for one hour for each drink you have consumed will help you sober up. This is not universally true, especially since everyone’s body processes alcohol differently. If you begin your evening with three or four shots of alcohol and then pace yourself with a drink each of the following hours, it could take a little while for the initial alcohol to even hit your system. That means it could take a while for your body to process that alcohol, and a while often means more than just an hour, especially considering the various alcohol content of different types of drinks.

You Must be Driving Your Car to Get a DUI

This is false. You do not have to be physically driving your car to get a DUI. If an officer witnesses you driving and suspects you are driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, they can still charge you with a DUI even if you have stopped driving by the time they get to you. That means simply making it to your driveway is not enough. In fact, being in your car even without the engine running can sometimes be enough for you to get a DUI. You do not have to be driving a car to get a DUI, either. You could be on a bicycle or in a boat. DUIs apply to vehicles, regardless of the type of vehicle in question. Operating any vehicle – yes, even a bicycle – while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is extremely dangerous for you and others on the road, on the sidewalk, or in the water.

Any Attorney can Handle a DUI

The only safe driving is sober driving. However, everyone makes mistakes. There are also other circumstances in which an individual can be charged with a DUI when not under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. That is why it is so important to make sure you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who focuses on DUIs. The Tiftickjian Law Firm understands that each DUI is different, even if they share some common factors. They also understand the nuances of Colorado’s DUI laws and the science behind proving DUI charges. If you are facing DUI, DWAI, or DUID charges in Colorado, then you may be facing some serious consequences. Contact the Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about these charges as well as what options might be available to you in your defense.

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Common Myths About DUIs: Part One


As attorneys that focus our practice on working with clients facing Colorado DUIs and related charges, we often come across a variety of misconceptions when it comes to the DUI process. From being pulled over to trial, it is important to understand these misconceptions because they can have a significant impact on your ability to successfully challenge your DUI. In this two-part series, we will explore some common myths and misconceptions about DUIs.

You Must Take Roadside Sobriety Tests

This is false. In fact, most attorneys will advise you against taking these tests. The problem is that your attorney is not there to tell you not to take them when you are approached for suspicion of driving under the influence. While you do have to submit to chemical testing or you will likely have your license suspended regardless of whether you have been drinking or not, chemical testing is not the same as roadside sobriety testing. Taking roadside sobriety tests usually only serves to give law enforcement officials additional evidence to use against you in court. It is not your job to help them attain a conviction.

Buzzed Driving is Not Drunk Driving

While technically not as egregious as driving under the influence, this is false. Only a couple of drinks can raise your blood alcohol concentration to an unsafe level. Any reading above 0.05% can get you charged with a DWAI, or driving while ability impaired. The consequences of conviction for this charge are not always as serious as they are for a DUI, but they can still have a negative impact on your life and livelihood. Only sober driving is safe driving.

All Drinks Have the Same Amount of Alcohol

This is most definitely false. When something refers to one standard drink, it means a drink that has approximately 14 grams of alcohol in it and typically refers to:

 

  • One 12-ounce beer with roughly 5% alcohol;
  • One five-ounce glass of wine with roughly 12% alcohol; or
  • One and half ounces of straight alcohol with roughly 40% alcohol content.

 

That means you need to be careful with oversized drinks or drinks that have higher alcohol contents. It is not uncommon to find beers in many establishments with 8% alcohol or more. This means that having one beer with a higher content of alcohol by volume can impair you just as quickly as two beers with a lower content of alcohol by volume. Some mixed drinks and craft cocktails can have three ounces of pure alcohol or more in each drink. The moral of the story is you need to know what you are drinking and how much alcohol is in it in order to make informed choices.

Alcohol is Always the Cause of Raised BAC Readings

This is not necessarily true, as there are other potential causes of raised BAC readings due to mouth alcohol. Mouth alcohol can come from alcohol trapped in dental work like dentures, from some breath sprays, from acid reflux, and even from some medicines. Even diabetic issues can cause mouth alcohol to form. Mouth alcohol can, in turn, cause false or raised readings when it comes to your blood alcohol concentration. That is why it is extremely important for individuals facing DUI charges to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney and be forthcoming about any and all information that could potentially be important to that person’s case. If you are facing Colorado DUI charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more about your Colorado DUI charges as well as what options might be available in your defense.

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Should You Fight Your DUI?

Facing a Colorado DUI is an incredibly stressful experience, especially if it is your first time facing such serious criminal charges. Many times, individuals can be intimidated by the legal process associated with a DUI and may want to simply take the easiest route available and admit to the DUI and then accept the consequences. While the decision on how to proceed with your case is ultimately up to you, it is important to remember that even those facing DUI charges have important rights that must be upheld. Equally as important is remembering that the only way to beat a DUI charge, especially if you are certain you are not guilty, is to fight the charge in court. There are some things that you should keep in mind when considering how to proceed with your DUI case.

Evidence can be Challenged

Evidence that seems to prove you are guilty of a DUI can be challenged. There are many legal requirements regarding evidence, some general and some specific to DUI cases. Your DUI attorney needs to be knowledgeable on the rules of evidence in court and as they apply to scientific evidence often used in DUI cases. Even seemingly concrete evidence like chemical testing results can be challenged in court.

Law enforcement officers can be challenged. Law enforcement is not always 100% accurate, and it is important to make sure that they have complied with the requirements they are governed by in your case. If they have acted improperly, it is possible such actions can be used to your benefit in court. Witness testimony can also be helpful, though it is not guaranteed that it will help you avoid conviction. Again, these circumstances are unique to every case and it is important to work with your DUI attorney to explore every avenue that may be available to you.

Plea Bargains are Sometimes Available

While you should never rely on the potential availability of a plea bargain for any criminal charge, including a DUI, there are some circumstances in which courts may be willing to work with offenders on reduced sentencing. This is especially true for first-time offenders who have clean records, although it is not guaranteed for them either. However, it may be possible to negotiate a “wet reckless” plea that can help alleviate some of the serious consequences a DUI conviction can bring. Taking this type of approach allows an individual to plead to reckless driving as opposed to driving under the influence, but only working with an experienced DUI attorney can help you determine if this type of options is right or even available to you. While these options do not completely relieve you of the consequences of a conviction, they can make those consequences easier to handle.

Talk to Your Attorney

As you face DUI charges, your attorney is likely to become an important person in your life. That is why it is so important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who focuses on working with clients facing DUIs. If you are facing Colorado DUI charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more about the charges against you as well as what options might be available in your defense.

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New Interactive Map Shows Colorado Counties with Most DUI Arrests

The data shows that Pueblo County, which makes up the 10th Judicial District, currently has the fewest DUI-related court filings per capita for 2017

DENVER, COLORADO—It’s an alarming number. So far this year, 372 DUI-related crashes have resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, according to Colorado State Patrol. With two more months still left in 2017, this number is a two percent increase from the year before. Determined to raise awareness to an old problem that shows no signs of improving, Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C.’s has released an interactive map to easily pinpoint where the majority of DUI/DWAI arrests and felony charges occur.

“It’s my hope that when others look closely at this map, it will start a conversation on how we might combat DUI using alternative methods. Our current laws aren’t working,” stated Jay Tiftickjian, founding attorney for Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. “Funding our state’s mental health system and revising the DUI education and therapy curriculum to fight DUI should be looked at more carefully.”Interactive Map of Colorado DUIs by Region

According to the interactive map (found here), drivers in Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, and Summit Counties (the 5th Judicial District) are the most likely to find themselves in the hot seat for driving under the influence or while impaired. The district averages 8.78 arrests per 1,000 residents. Drivers in Pueblo County are the least likely to be arrested – with just 2.64 arrests per 1,000 residents of this county.

“The lower those numbers, obviously, the better. We want to see our roads safer, and we applaud the state’s attempt to tackle this nationwide crisis. However, we must do more. Let’s zero in on the problem and address it by thinking outside the box,” stated Tiftickjian. “When you can easily visualize—with the aid of this map— where the problem is, we can work to correct it.”

Below is a ranking of Colorado judicial districts based on the rate of DUI & DWAI court filings per capita in 2017:

 

  1. 5th Judicial District (Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, and Summit Counties)

More than 100,000 people reside in these four counties. This district has had 884 DUI arrests in 2017, a rate of 8.8 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 10 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 970.4 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 9th Judicial District (Garfield, Pitkin & Rio Blanco Counties)

More than 82,000 people reside in these three counties. This district has had 647 DUI arrests in 2017, a rate of 7.9 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 8.9 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 702.8 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 6th Judicial District (Archeleta, La Plata & San Juan Counties)

Nearly 68,000 people live in these three counties. This district has had 547 DUI arrests in 2017, a rate of 8 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 7.7 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 501.8 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 14th Judicial District (Grand, Moffat & Routt Counties)

Nearly 52,000 people live in these three counties. This district has had 392 arrests in 2017, a rate of 7.6 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 9.2 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 468.2 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 22nd Judicial District (Dolores and Montezuma Counties)

More than 28,000 people call these two counties home. This district has had 196 arrests in 2017, a rate of 7.0 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 6.9 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district has averaged 188.4 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 3rd Judicial District (Huerfano and Las Animas Counties)

More than 20,000 people call these two counties home. This district has had 127 arrests in 2017, a rate of 6.2 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 8.3 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, this district averaged 178.7 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 7th Judicial District (Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray & San Miguel Counties)

More than 100,000 reside in these six counties. This district has had 562 DUI arrests in 2017, a rate of 5.6 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 6.2 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 610 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 12th Judicial District (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande & Saguache Counties)

A little more than 46,000 people call these six counties home. This district has had 203 arrests in 2017, a rate of 4.4 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 8.4 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, this district averaged 390.9 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 8th Judicial District (Jackson and Larimer Counties)

More than 334,000 people live in these two counties. This district has had 1,419 arrests in 2017, a rate of 4.2 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 6 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 1,852.5 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 15th Judicial District (Baca, Cheyenne, Kiowa & Powers Counties)

Nearly 19,000 people call these four counties home. This district has had 79 arrests in 2017, a rate of 4.2 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 7 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, this district has averaged 136.3 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 17th Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield Counties)

More than 555,000 people call these two counties home. This district has had 2,267 arrests in 2017, a rate of 4.1 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 6 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 3,080 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 11th Judicial District (Chaffer, Custer, Freemont & Park Counties)

More than 86,000 people call this county home. This district has had 350 arrests in 2017, a rate of 4.1 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 4.4 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, this district averaged 371.8 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 19th Judicial District (Weld County)

Nearly 285,000 people call this county home. This district has had 1,077 arrests in 2017, a rate of 3.8 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 5.4 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 1,394.2 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 16th Judicial District (Bent, Crowley & Otero Counties)

Nearly 30,000 people call these two counties home. This district has had 114 arrests in 2017, a rate of 3.8 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 5.4 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 163.2 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 21st Judicial District (Mesa County)

More than 149,000 people call this county home. This district has had 550 arrests in 2017, a rate of 3.7 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 5.5 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 796.4 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 1st Judicial District (Gilpin and Jefferson Counties)

More than 571,000 people call these two counties home. This district has had 1,987 arrests in 2017, a rate of 3.5 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 4.1 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 2,240.6 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 13th Judicial District (Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington & Yuma Counties)

More than 80,000 people call these counties home. This district has had 269 arrests in 2017, a rate of 3.4 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 4.9 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 390.8 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 4th Judicial District (El Paso & Teller Counties)

More than 700,000 people call these two counties home. This district has had 2,381 arrests in 2017, a rate of 3.4 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 4.9 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, this district averaged 3,200.9 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert & Lincoln Counties)

Nearly a million people call these four counties home. This district has had 3,023 arrests in 2017, a rate of 3.1 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 4.2 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, this district averaged 3,794.1 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

 

  1. 20th Judicial District (Boulder County)

More than 319,000 people call this county home. This district has had 951 arrests in 2017, a rate of 3.0 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 4.9 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 1,479.3 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 2nd Judicial District (Denver County)

Approximately 683,000 people call this county home. The district has had 1,940 arrests in 2017, a rate of 2.8 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 4.9 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 3,042.1 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

  1. 10th Judicial District (Pueblo County)

More than 163,00 people call this one county home. This district has had 432 arrests in 2017, a rate of 2.6 per 1,000 residents. Over nearly a 10-year-period, this amounted to 4.8 arrests per 1,000 residents. From 2007 to 2016, the district averaged 760.2 DUI/DWAI court filings.

 

In August of this year, Colorado took major steps to deter repeat offenders with its new  fourth-strike Felony DUI law. For repeat offenders, this can result in up to a six-year prison sentence and as much as $500,000 in fines. The three offenses leading up to the fourth-strike felony charge can be comprised of both DUI or DWAI convictions.

“Unfortunately, preventing DUI/DWAI offenses is not as simple as filing felony charges against fourth-time offenders. Re-arrest rates for felons sent to prison are at about 40 percent,” stated Tiftickjian. “Evidence shows that the true key to preventing DUI/DWAI recidivism is getting addicts appropriate intervention.”

 

With the creation of this interactive map, Tiftickjian hopes it will prompt not only the state but local municipalities to take a different approach to curbing the problem. To view the interactive map, click here.

Talking to Teens About Drinking

Every parent worries when their teens get behind the wheel. Parents want to make sure their teens understand the rules of the road and exercise good judgment when driving, especially given that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists traffic accidents as the leading cause of death for individuals aged 16 through 25. Unfortunately, alcohol is involved in many of those crashes. Often times, the discussion about drinking and driving begins when parents first talk to their children about the dangers of drinking. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s “Make A Difference” publication provides a solid starting point for parents who are ready to have these important conversations with their children, some of which is adapted below.

Concerns with Teenage Drinking

Aside from likely obvious concerns about the illegality of consuming alcoholic beverages if you are under 21, it is important to remember that most states, including Colorado, have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage individuals getting behind the wheel with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. Additionally, statistics show that teens who engage in drinking are more likely to:

  • Be involved in alcohol-related traffic crashes;
  • Be victims of violent crimes; and
  • Experience significant school-related difficulties, both academically and socially.

Parents are in a position to have a unique and major impact on a child’s decision to engage in drinking and other types of illegal activities, but that influence starts by having an open dialogue. When it comes to drinking, those conversations can sometimes be difficult.

Tips for Talking to Your Kids

One of the most important parts of ensuring an effective discussion about serious topics like drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs is making sure to create an open atmosphere where each person feels comfortable asking questions and sharing thoughts. Do not simply talk at your children, but include them in the discussion and listen to their concerns as well as their points of view. Make sure you are asking open-ended questions that enable a dialogue instead of a simple yes or no response. The more details you are able to elicit and provide, the more informed your child will be.

Another very important aspect of talking to your teen about any serious issue is making sure that you control your emotions. Some of their responses may surprise you, or they may even initially be unwilling to talk to you about these topics. However, getting angry or frustrated will not encourage them to open up. Make sure to show respect for your child’s concerns and point of view, even in situations in which he or she might be wrong. This will make it much easier for you to present accurate information that could easily help him or her make more informed decisions. Make sure you have accurate, applicable, age appropriate facts to help your child understand the dangers of driving under the influence of any substance. The conversations you have today could make a world of difference tomorrow and throughout your child’s life.

Legal Assistance with Alcohol-Related Charges

Adults are typically aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but they can easily make a mistake. Teens can, too. Even if you have had countless conversations with your children about the dangers of drinking and drugs, especially when driving is involved, there still exists the potential for them to face serious criminal charges by violating laws that could have a significant impact on many aspects of their lives both in the present and the future. If your child is facing alcohol- and/or drug-related charges, especially those concerning driving, it is extremely important to work with an experienced criminal defense team that understands the nuances of the laws regulating driving and these substances. If you or your child is facing these types of serious criminal charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about what options might be available based on the individual circumstances of your case.

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(image courtesy of Jake Blucker)