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Fall Drunk Driving Crackdown in Colorado

Just when you thought the drunk driving campaign was over, Colorado police have decided to begin again, sobriety checkpoints and all.

When the summer DUI campaign, 100 Days of Heat*, ended in September, another campaign started. The increased drunk driving enforcement this fall will continue until October 24, 2011. It seems there is no relief from the pressure police officers are placing on drivers throughout Colorado.

Between September and October, there are many events involving alcohol, including football tailgating, Oktoberfest, homecoming, fall wine tastings and college parties. These events can often contribute to drunk driving, as people go home believing that they haven't had "one too many." Unfortunately, the decision to drive can also lead to a DUI charge, especially with police officers heavily patrolling for drunk driving.

Many people charged with Colorado driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) never meant to break the law. They simply wanted to get home after a party or other alcohol-related event and believed they could make it there without difficulty. Perhaps they were stopped at a DUI checkpoint or were pulled over for speeding or weaving in traffic. Whatever happened, they now find themselves facing large fines, jail time, community service, driver's license suspension and other possible penalties.

Even a first DUI (which means driving with a blood alcohol content - BAC - of at least .08) can lead to nine months license suspension, eight driving record points, and up to one year in jail, $1,000 in fines and 96 hours of community service. However, everyone who is charged with DWAI or DUI can face different penalties, depending on the facts surrounding their arrest, their criminal history, and the effectiveness of their Colorado criminal defense lawyers.

* During 100 Days of Heat, which lasted from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there were more than 2,500 drunk driving arrests, which is down from last summer's 3,531 arrests.

Source: Aurora Sentinel, "As Summer Crackdown Ends, Colorado Police Begin New Drunk Driving Campaign,"

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