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Legal reasons for DUI charges in Colorado

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Uncategorized

Is a person only intoxicated if he or she feels drunk? The answer is definitely ”No,” if a Colorado police officer has pulled the person in question over in a traffic stop. Regardless of how a motorist might be feeling at the time, if a police officer concludes there is probable cause to suspect driver intoxication, the individual may be taken into custody on DUI charges.

The more a driver understands ahead of time about his or her rights and how to protect them, the less stressful it might be if he or she winds up facing DUI charges in court. One of the most important issues to understand is that Colorado law defines intoxication as a percentage of .08 or higher of alcohol in the bloodstream. It does not matter how a person feels at the time.

Visible signs of intoxication that may compel a DUI arrest

If a police officer is conducting a traffic stop or administering a field sobriety test and notices any of the issues included in the following list, it may constitute probable cause to make a DUI arrest:

  • Difficulty following a series of simple instructions
  • Unbalanced stance or gait when walking
  • Smell of alcohol on the breath
  • Slurred speech

If a person exhibits these behaviors during a traffic stop or fails a field sobriety test, he or she will likely be taken into police custody for suspected intoxication while driving.

Suspicion and proof are two separate issues

If Colorado prosecutors file DUI charges against a motorist, they must present evidence in court to prove the accusations. A blood alcohol content that meets the legal definition of intoxication is considered some proof, in addition to many other types of evidence that may be presented in court. A person accused of drunk driving may refute the charges and can challenge evidence as inadmissible when appropriate to the circumstances.