Recently, the Colorado Department of Transportation joined forces with the Colorado State Patrol in an anti-drunk driving campaign during the Labor Day holiday weekend. From August 16, 2013, through September 3, 2013, law enforcement officers were on full alert to crack down on drivers, including those from Denver, Colorado, who chose to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to sources, the Labor Day drunk driving crackdown represented an annual campaign to stop drunk drivers. Drivers who have a blood alcohol content level that exceeds Colorado's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) legal limit, or 0.08%, may be charged with DUI. Reportedly, over 1,300 individuals now are facing drunk driving charges. In Denver alone, 157 drivers were arrested for DUI.
Drunk driving campaigns are often implemented during holiday weekends because many people celebrate the occasion with alcohol consumption. During these campaigns, checkpoints and traffic stops are placed in different areas to stop random motorists in order to check if they are operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
To determine if the driver in question is impaired, there are certain procedures that police need to perform, such as field sobriety tests. A field sobriety test allows an officer to observe a person's balance, attention level and other factors. If the driver fails the roadside tests, the police are likely to perform a breathalyzer test to determine the driver's BAC level. If an arrest is made without the breath test or another type of BAC test, the improper actions of the police may be a factor in contesting the drunk driving charge.
A simple drunk driving charge can affect a person's life, employment and other opportunities. However, such a charge cannot be pursued against an alleged drunk driver without the authorities following the proper procedures. Improper police actions, together with inaccuracy of field sobriety tests, are some of the potential drunk driving defenses that may be used to challenge a drunk driving allegation. Although Colorado does not tolerate drunk driving, drivers accused of DUI still have the right to expect a fair criminal process.
Source: ABC Channel 7 News, Denver, "1,300+ arrested for DUI in Colorado during extended Labor Day crackdown," Sept. 9, 2013