In Colorado, nearly 26,000 people are arrested every year for DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) or DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) offenses. Just because you have been charged with a DUI in Colorado does not mean that you are guilty of the offense. All it means is that you need a strong legal defense to protect your rights.
But in the current conditions related to the coronavirus crisis in Colorado, the number of DUI arrests is likely to have substantially come down. Local lockdowns, shelter-in-place and work-from-home practices have reduced the number of vehicles on the road, which automatically brings down the number of the DUI cases.
Rising Number of Covid-19 Positive Cases
As of the 7th of April, Colorado had 5,429 confirmed cases of Covid-19, representing a jump of 257 over the previous day. According to the state health officials, the number of hospitalizations across the state has also gone up to 1,079 (it was 994 a day before.)
With 29 more deaths related to coronavirus, the total number of deaths attributable to the disease in Colorado stands at 179. At least 28,094 people have been tested for Covid-19 in the state. These grim numbers are indicative of the serious health challenges posed by the virus, and as of now, the best way to contain the spread is to practice social distancing and minimize the visits outside home.
Driving is Down across the State
Amid the scare caused by Covid-19 pandemic, driving around the country as well as the state of Colorado is down. According to reports released by leading auto insurance companies, driving is down by anywhere between 35 to 50 percent throughout the country.
This indirectly means that car crashes are down too, and DUI incidents are also down in similar proportion. The evidence of this trend can be noticed from the fact some of the leading auto insurance companies are giving refunds to their clients or offering discounted premiums.
For instance, Allstate is offering customers a rebate of 15 percent for April and May, while American Family Insurance is giving a flat refund of $50 per car to its customers.
Stay-at-Home Order in Colorado Extended
Gov. Jared Polis has said that the spread of coronavirus in Colorado has slowed down, but he has called upon the residents to maintain social distancing even now and wear home-made masks when they have to come out of the home for any essential errands. To contain the spread of the virus further, the state has extended its stay-at-home order to the 26th of April.
The previous stay-at-home order was in force till 11th April, and it has now been extended for another 15 days. Following this development, most people are likely to remain off the roads in Colorado. This will have indirect impact in terms of reduction in the number of auto accidents and DUI offenses across the state.
Reduced Access to Alcoholic Beverages
Many Colorado residents enjoy alcoholic beverages in their leisure time. However, with various social distancing measures put in place across the state, many of the liquor stores, bars and restaurants in Colorado are closed or accepting fewer visitors at a time.
Employees of many of the non-essential businesses are working from home and many in the hospitality industry have been laid off. This indirectly means that many of the sources of alcoholic beverages, including manufacturers, are either operating at reduced capacity or shutting down indefinitely.
These trends are clearly contributing to a reduced number of drunk drivers on Colorado’s roads as of now. However, this does not mean that DUI incidents are entirely eliminated. Drivers should follow all the safe driving practices on road, but if they are charged with DUI in Colorado, it is prudent to speak to an experienced DUI attorney right away for legal advice.
Drug DUI in Colorado
Driving under the influence of drugs is a serious offense in Colorado. It is important to understand that illegal “street” drugs, recreational drugs, as well as prescription drugs and medical marijuana can constitute a DUID offense in the state.
Although recreational marijuana is legalized in Colorado, it does mean that you can drive legally under the influence of marijuana. If you have a valid medical marijuana card in Colorado, it will not serve as a defense to DUID charges.
Even in a DUI case in Colorado, the penalties can be the same as a DUID offense, if you were driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or some combination of the two.
Choose a Seasoned DUI Defense Lawyer in Colorado
Anderson and Carnahan is a premiere Colorado Springs criminal defense firm. With more than half a century of combined experience in criminal law, we are in a position to provide you a robust defense for any pending criminal matters, including DUI.
We will clearly explain to you the charges brought against you and devise the best possible defense strategy based on the facts and circumstances unique to your case. Call us at 719-473-9099 for a free case evaluation.