Conventional wisdom would say less people are drinking and driving since Colorado had a month long stay-at-home order. Bars were closed and numerous companies shifted to work-from-home models instead of offices.
Statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s indicate that as of April 30, 44 people have been killed in DUI crashes so far this year. That’s up from 34 people killed in DUI crashes during 2019. Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Blake White told Fox Denver 31 that police have “seen a lot of people almost acting like the laws don’t apply right now.”
Other possible reasons for the increase in DUI deaths may be economical or personal. Numerous people across Colorado have lost their job or been placed on unemployment, compounding the stress from trying to stay healthy during a pandemic. Police say they are also seeing an increase in domestic abuse accusations. People who were forced to be quarantined with a significant other or roommates for weeks can become overwhelmed. They may have driven themselves away from their home after drinking in order to prevent a fight.
Whatever the underlying reason why, being charged with vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence in Colorado is one of the most severe charges anyone can face. The charge is considered a Class 3 felony that is punishable by 4 to 12 years in prison and fine of $3,000 to $750,000, along with having your license suspended for a year.
Causing a death under the influence of drugs or alcohol is difficult to defend against. Under Colorado state law, the driver is solely responsible for his or her actions after they consume a substance. Blaming the death on whichever substance impaired your driving is inadmissible in court.
If you are arrested for vehicular manslaughter DUI, it is imperative that you retain an experienced attorney immediately. Your license will also be suspended, you will be labeled a persistent drunk driver, and your vehicle will have an ignition interlock device installed.
The coronavirus and the stay-at-home orders have taken a toll on everyone’s emotions and mental health. But as the Colorado State Patrol sergeant points out, punishment for breaking the law has not been lifted, even during unprecedented times. Felony DUIs require a robust defense if you want to keep as much of your life intact as possible.
Call the Law Offices of Clifton Black at (719)328-1616 to learn what our attorneys can do for you. Courts will be adjusting to getting into the full swing of their operations again and you won’t want to face the adjustments alone, especially on such serious charges. You can also contact us on our website.