Coloradans are arrested for drinking and driving in the summer more often than any other time of the year. In this post, we’ll talk about why that’s true, and we’ll also let you know what to do if you end up with a DUI this summer.
Summer Drinking Stats Across the U.S.
Here are some summer drinking statistics that may surprise you:
In 2015, there were 2,824 deaths related to drinking and driving.
Half of boating crashes involve alcohol or drug use, and 15 percent of recreational boating deaths involve alcohol use.
Teens are more likely to try alcohol for the first time in July as compared with other months.
Underage drinkers drink 11 percent of the U. S. alcohol supply.
Among underage drinkers, June, July, and August are the most fatal months for teenage drivers.
The Fourth of July is the third most popular drinking day, after New Year’s Eve and Christmas.
From 2012 to 2016, 780 people died in drunk driving related accidents.
On Labor Day in 2015, 40 percent of all traffic deaths involved alcohol, and many of those drivers had a blood alcohol concentration of nearly twice the legal limit.
Of drunk driving fatalities, 44 percent involve a driver with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
More Colorado DUI Arrests in Summer
Why does this increase happen? There are many reasons for more DUI arrests over the summer:
People may drink more when they feel hot, leading to drinking and driving, especially among young drivers who are less likely to monitor their consumption.
Many people socialize more frequently during summer months, when there is more daylight to enjoy one another’s company and drink together.
The Fourth of July holiday means barbeques and parties for many, which often involve hours of drinking. All-day outdoor events can cause some to drink too much before getting behind the wheel.
More young drivers on the road
With school not in regular session, a higher number of young drivers are on the road and may get arrested for drinking and driving more often than during other times of the year. Parties and social activities also abound in the summer, and if young drivers aren’t careful, they can get arrested.
With more parties and young drivers on the road, more law enforcement officials are out looking for signs of drunk driving. Even drivers who have only had one or two drinks can get arrested for DUI if they haven’t taken time to sober up before driving. Arrests for DUIs can be twice or three times higher on a summer weekend as compared to any other time of year.
What to Know about Colorado DUI Laws
Since DUI arrests increase during the summertime, you need to understand the Colorado DUI laws and penalties in case you are arrested. Here’s an explanation of how our laws work.
Blood alcohol concentration
As in all other states, Colorado enforces a 0.08 percent limit for blood alcohol concentration. Additionally, you could face charges for aggravated DUI for a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17 percent or more. Underage drivers who drink will face penalties for a blood alcohol concentration level of any amount between 0.02 and 0.05 percent.
If you refused to have a blood or breath test taken when you get arrested, Colorado law allows for an immediate driver’s license revocation of up to 12 months.
If you are convicted for DUI as a first offender, you could lose your driver’s license for nine months. Second-time offenders can lose their driver’s license for one year, and third-time offenders can lose it for two years. The judge may also order you to participate in an alcohol treatment program.
Additionally, repeat offenders may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. This device will cause the vehicle to be inoperable unless your blood alcohol concentration is below certain levels at different intervals during your drive time.
Now That You Know the “Why,” Learn “How” – to Beat Colorado DUI Charges
Understanding why DUIs increase can help you be more prepared and hopefully change behaviors that will allow you to avoid being arrested.
More drinking at parties? More cops on the road? Set up a DD plan across the summer with rotating drivers amongst your friends. Or plan how you’ll split the cost of rideshares. Need to drive but still want to have fun? Count your drinks and time it out. It typically takes the human body about an hour to process a single alcoholic drink, so if you have three, you’ll need at least three hours without drinking more for it to get out of your system. Eat a lot and drink non-alcoholic beverages as well to slow down your absorption rate. Not sure what will be available where you’re going? Store snacks and waters in your car, bag, or purse.
Also, be prepared for the worst to happen. Start researching experienced Colorado DUI attorneys now so you know who you want to call if and when you get arrested. Can’t tell who’s right for you from reading their website alone? Give them a call. Reputable criminal lawyers should offer a free initial consultation, so you can use this time to get to know them if you so choose.
The fallout from a single DUI can last for months and cause expensive and complicated problems for you. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to ruin your summer – and beyond.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.