Many people who drink believe that they know their limits and can drink moderately and get behind the wheel of a car. In some cases, they may even be right. Alcohol affects people differently, and the same amount of alcohol can cause one person to be significantly impaired while another shows no noticeable signs of intoxication. Many factors come into play in terms of how alcohol affects different people, including their body weight, what they had eaten that day, their tolerance, and their rate of consumption. As a result, it is almost impossible to know whether you are over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) without performing a chemical analysis on your blood, breath, or urine. This means that every time a person drinks and gets behind the wheel, he or she risks being accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), or the lesser offense of driving while ability impaired (DWAI). These are serious offenses under Colorado law, and can have equally serious consequences including fines, probation, mandatory counseling, and even jail time.
Law Enforcement May Conduct Investigative Stops
For people who believe that they are sober or are not particularly intoxicated, it may be tempting to drive but do so particularly “safely,” meaning making sure to not give law enforcement a reason to pull you over. A person who is buzzed may believe that by driving at or under the speed limit, coming to complete stops at stops signs, signaling all turns and lane changes, and staying within the lanes they reduce their chances of being pulled over. In reality, there are many “non-moving violations” that may legally justify a traffic stop. In certain circumstances, law enforcement may actively look for such violations to pull a person over given the time of day (or night), the neighborhood, the parking lot the vehicle is leaving from, or the age or gender of the driver. Some of the more commonly used non-moving violations that law enforcement officers use to stop drivers they wish to investigate further include:
|· Broken taillights
· Broken headlights
· Expired license plate tags
· Darkly tinted windows
· Missing or broken license plate lights
|· Failure to wear a seatbelt
· Littering from vehicle
· Text messaging
· Illegal parking
· Failure to display license plates
If you are stopped for one of these non-moving violations, a law enforcement officer is fully within his or her rights to talk to you and look for signs of intoxication. In many cases, they only justification for a stop leading to a DUI case is a non-moving violation of which a driver was completely unaware.
Contact a Colorado DUI Defense Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
A conviction for DUI or DWAI can have serious legal and collateral consequences. As a result, anyone facing a DUI or DWAI case should discuss their options with an experienced Denver DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The assistance of an attorney often results in a much better outcome than a person would be able to secure on his or her own. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Tiftickjian Law Firm today at (303) 384-5280.