St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. While the holiday’s origins are as a cultural and religious celebration, it has become synonymous with binge-drinking. One historical reason for this is the lifting of restrictions on drinking imposed by the Christian holiday of Lent. This Lenten short-term restriction on consumption alcohol dates all the way back to the beginning of the 17th century. After abstaining from drinking alcohol during the Lent holiday, the Irish would celebrate the lifting of the temporary prohibition by drinking. Feasting, parades, festivals, and donning of the famous shamrock were part of the celebration as well – and endure to this day – but the dominant image with the holiday, at least for adults, has become alcohol. As you might imagine, St. Patrick’s Day binge-drinking leads to more than a few DUI arrests. Unsurprisingly, the police are especially vigilant on the holiday with regard to drinking and driving. If your St. Patty’s Day celebrating resulting in a DUI or DWAI arrest in the state of Colorado, you need a skilled and experienced Denver DUI defense attorney.
Conviction for DUI or DWAI in Colorado Can Lead to Fines, Jail Time, and More
The last thing you want on St. Patrick’s Day is for the “luck of the Irish” to turn into personal misfortune. If, however, you choose to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol to the point of impairment and are stopped and arrested for DUI or DWAI by an officer with probable cause, your luck will have indeed turned bad. If you are convicted for either offense, you are looking at fines and fees, mandatory community service, compulsory attendance at a victim impact panel, damage to your reputation, difficulty in earning or maintaining a professional license, and even jail time. Colorado has little tolerance for drinking and driving, and punishes offenders harshly in the interest of deterring the behavior.
In terms of specific penalties, factors include whether it was your first-time or a repeat offense, and whether the arrest followed an accident that caused personal injuries and/or property damage. Penalties for a second, third, or subsequent drinking and driving conviction will be more severe than for a first-time conviction. Similarly, penalties for conviction of a DUI involving an accident causing personal injuries to other drivers or passengers will be punished more harshly. It goes without saying that an underage DUI (DUI for individuals under the age of 21) will be punished severely and have negative implications for educational and vocational aspirations.
Whatever your specific circumstances, you need a skilled and experienced Denver DUI defense attorney. A skilled attorney will explain your legal rights and mount the strongest possible defense on your behalf. Police officers making a DUI stop and arrest are held to strict requirements with regard to probable cause and the administration of a valid breathalyzer or other Blood Alcohol Content test. Failure to comply with these requirements may be grounds for a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you.