Unofficial summer has arrived in Boulder and so have warnings from law enforcement agencies about the dangers of impaired driving. Colorado laws have changed since last summer, when the recreational marijuana use was still against the law. Now that adults legally can buy and use marijuana, police are watching for signs of drugged and drunk driving.
The Summit Daily reported drivers with as little as five nanograms of tetrahydrocannabidinol, marijuana’s active ingredient, in their systems can be charged with DUI. The potential consequences are as severe an alcohol-related conviction. A loss of driving privileges, thousands of dollars in fines and even jail time are possible depending on the level of intoxication, DUI history and whether an injury accident or death occurred.
Memorial Day weekend kicked off an intense statewide campaign to enforce DUI laws. During the holiday weekend last year, Boulder County deputies arrested 10 people on alcohol-related offenses among 423 arrests throughout Colorado. Authorities focus on heightened enforcement in summer because that’s when a large portion of DUI accident fatalities occur.
Thirty-six percent of all state drunk driving fatalities in 2013 happened between holidays at the start and end of summer. There were 188 statewide deaths caused by drunk drivers throughout the entire year. Boulder law enforcement agencies stepped up patrols significantly during the Memorial Day weekend and plan repeated DUI arrest efforts throughout the season.
Summer is traditionally a time of relaxation. Many University of Colorado students have graduated or have a break from studies to enjoy recreational activities, which may include alcohol or marijuana use. A DUI arrest can interrupt the season’s fun, derail your education and limit prospects for a career.
No one wants to be a defendant in the criminal legal process. Consequences after a DUI arrest or conviction can be long-term. With the future at stake, no defendant should face DUI charges without aggressive legal representation.
Source: Longmont Times-Call, “Summertime DUI enforcement underway in Boulder County, statewide” No author given, May. 23, 2014