A 22-year-old woman was arrested for driving under the influence in Loveland after driving her car into Lake Loveland. Two teenagers saw the accident and stopped to render aid. Despite the 20-degree temperatures, one of the young men swam out to the car in the ice-cold water, breaking a window to free the trapped driver and swim her to safety.
Worried that someone else may have been in the vehicle, the teenage rescuers called 911. The car was removed from the water and first responders scoured the lake for other passengers. None were found.
The driver of the vehicle was rushed to the hospital and later arrested for DUI. According to fire department officials, both young men risked their own lives to rescue the woman. “First of all it’s cold weather. It’s nighttime. It’s dangerous to be in the water. It’s even more dangerous when it’s as cold as it is,” said Loveland Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Michael Cerovski.
Sobering Reminders of DUI Dangers
Many DUI accidents serve as tragic reminders that when driving drunk you put not only your own life but the lives of others in danger. In this case, however, tragedy was averted. Nevertheless, it serves as a reminder that even when you think you are only risking your own safety, others who come to your aid may not be as lucky. This blog has documented multiple incidents in which police officers attending to DUI incidents have been struck by other vehicles. The young volunteer rescuers in this case could easily have succumbed to hypothermia or drowned had the incident taken a turn for the worse.
Here, fortunately, the accident resulted in neither fatality nor serious injury. DUI incidents do not always end so happily, though. This narrowly-avoided catastrophe should serve as a sobering reminder that when driving under the influence, you not only risk harming victims, but also your would-be rescuers.
Injured Rescuers and Legal Liability
If someone is injured rescuing you from an accident caused while you are driving under the influence, it is not likely that you will be held legally responsible for these injuries because their decision to attempt a rescue would be deemed an intervening cause in the accident. Colorado’s vehicular homicide and vehicular assault statutes require the driving to be the proximate cause of the injury or death, meaning that a subsequent injury after the fact is unlikely to form the basis for liability. However, you are responsible for any injuries or deaths that are a direct result of your driving while under the influence.
Contact a Colorado DUI Attorney
If you are arrested for DUI, whether it involves an accident or not, you stand to lose a lot with a conviction. It not only affects your criminal record but also your driving privileges (at least in the short term). When you face DUI charges, the government has enormous power over you both judicially and administratively. You need the best representation you can get to have a fighting chance in the legal system. The attorneys at Tiftickjian Law focus their practice on DUI and dedicate themselves to providing the highest quality DUI defenses available.