What is DUI per se? Most of us are aware of the fact that drunk driving is against the law and that people who are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) are subject to significant legal penalties. What “drunk” actually means is not as commonly understood, however, and could be the subject of reasonable debate. Colorado law has several laws regarding DUI, ranging from prohibiting individuals from driving with their ability impaired to the “slightest degree” to a relatively new state statute creating a felony offense for a 4th lifetime DUI. All offenses related to drinking and driving are a serious criminal matter that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Consequently, anyone who has been accused of drunk or drugged driving should retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Colorado’s 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content Limit
Simply put, Colorado’s DUI per se statute makes it a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher at the time of driving or within 2 hours after driving. There are many ways of establishing a BAC of 0.08 or higher, including roadside breathalyzer testing and the chemical testing of a person’s blood, breath, or urine. The way that a per se DUI offense differs from other DUI offenses requiring the state to establish a certain degree of intoxication is that the only fact that the state needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt is the defendant’s BAC at time of driving or shortly thereafter.
DUI per se Defenses may be available
Many people are under the mistaken impression that there are generally no defenses available if law enforcement conducted a breathalyzer test or obtained a BAC reading. After all, the state does not need to establish that a driver was intoxicated or impaired, but only that his or her BAC was at a certain level at a particular time. In reality, there are often many defenses that could potentially be available, including the following:
– Establishing that the initial stop was unjustified – In order for a traffic stop to be justified, the officer conducting the stop must have had reasonable suspicions that a crime was being committed or had recently been committed. If he or she is unable to do so, the stop may be ruled invalid, making any evidence obtained during the stop potentially inadmissible.
– Introducing evidence that the results of any chemical testing that was performed was inaccurately high – There are certain medical conditions, such as GERD, that can make the results of BAC testing inaccurately high.
Contact a Denver DUI defense attorney today to schedule a free consultation
Anyone who has been accused of drunk driving or a DUI per se should retain a qualified defense attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers of the Tiftickjian Law Firm are dedicated to representing the legal rights of individuals accused of crimes. In many cases, the assistance of an experienced DUI defense attorney can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. To schedule a free consultation with one of our DUI defense lawyers, please call our office today at (303) DUI-5280.