Blood alcohol content (BAC) is the threshold that affects charges involving drunk driving accidents and in all 50 states, the minimum is .08%. However, a landmark law could change that in neighboring Utah and it is unclear what effect, if any, it will have on Colorado DUI accidents.
The Utah Proposal to Curb DUI Accidents
The .08% national maximum is meant to dissuade people from risking a DUI accident in the first place. It's roughly the amount of two drinks in an hour for a man and somewhat less for a woman. Advocates against the Utah law argue that it would put a chilling effect on tourism and the hospitality industry.
Supporters argue the opposite. Governor Gary Herbert says it's a "public safety issue" and not a "religious issue" for the Mormon politician. A lawmaker who supports the bill also argued that it wouldn't be an issue because cops don't measure blood alcohol without apparent signs of impairment.
In the case of the field sobriety tests, there is no break-even point. Rather, a combination of balancing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe and tracking a flashlight with one's eyes are used by patrol officers to determine the necessity of a breathalyzer.
Colorado Drunk Driving Issues
According to a recent study cited by the Denver Post, Coloradans simply are not great at following the rules of the road. They are in the top 10 among states with speeding tickets but are particularly worse when it comes to running a red light and not wearing a seatbelt. In both of those cases it was first.
While the Centennial State isn't in the lead when it comes to drunk driving accidents, the state Department of Public Safety has published troubling statistics. As of Feb. 28, 2017, the Colorado State Patrol noted that there was an 11 percent increase in DUI crashes resulting in injury or death.
Oddly, proactive policing citations had gone down. Tickets for speeding, seatbelt violations and traffic stops had dropped by 15 percent to one-quarter. Unfortunately, the rate of DUI citations noted after a wreck or other incident did not.
Those poor driving habits, especially for distracted driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt exacerbate the issues involved in drunk driving accidents. They lead to unsafe conditions for occupants in other vehicles and increase the forces involved in any potential wreck. It's unclear, however, if reducing the BAC limits for a DUI will have an effect on these issues which can lead to lifelong damage.
Getting Help with Your Colorado Car Accident Case
If you've been in an accident with a distracted driver, your injuries could be significant. Medical bills might pile up and lost income could make bills tough to pay. Learn more about your legal rights: Get a free consultation with an Anderson Hemmat & McQuinn accident attorneys today.
Call 303-782-9999 or use the easy case evaluation form to your right for a confidential review of the facts of your potential case. We look forward to helping you get the best possible outcome.