Colorado DUI Statistics
One in three Colorado drivers arrested for DUI has a previous DUI arrest, according to a study by the Denver Post. Of the approximately 31,000 drivers arrested each of the last three years for driving under the influence, almost 11,000 were repeat offenders.
The Post's analysis, which looked at criminal justice records, court files and extensive data from 2005-2007, found an average of 31,011 DUI arrests each year, of which 10,835 had at least one prior DUI arrest. In the same three-year span, 5,679 had two or more DUI arrests, 84 had ten or more, and five had at least 20 previous drunk driving encounters.
Colorado is one of only four states that does not have a felony DUI offense, however; their is pending legislation that will make 3 convictions in 7 years and 4 convictions in a lifetime a class 6 felony.
Colorado law also includes a less serious driving while ability impaired, or DWAI, category, which is a blood alcohol content, or BAC, greater than 0.050 but less than 0.080. Statistics on DWAI arrests in Colorado were not present in the Post article.
Stronger DUI Punishments
Lawmakers have attempted to strengthen Colorado DUI laws in the past, but their efforts have not been successful in keeping drunk drivers off the road.
A 2004 law lowered the minimum BAC for a DUI from 0.100 to 0.080. Lawmakers have also taken steps to increase jail sentences and stop plea-bargains, in which first-time offenders may be able to receive lenience in exchange for a guilty plea.
An attempt to pass a felony DUI law died in Colorado legislature in 2007 due to budgetary concerns.
In many states, a driver with two previous DUI offenses or with a BAC of 0.200 or higher can face a felony charge, up to seven years in jail and a steep fine. A Colorado DUI attorney can help reduce those penalties.
Additionally, Colorado does not set a cap on the number of DUI convictions a person can receive in a lifetime. Many states have increasingly severe penalties for each successive DUI conviction.
- National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Statistics
- U.S. Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation - Ten Year Arrest Trends
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving Statistics
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention Statistics
- The Century Council Drinking Statistics
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Statistics
Alcohol-related deaths in the US since 1982:
|Total fatalities||Alcohol related fatalities|
Drinking and driving fatalities by state in 2006 (ranked by highest number of alcohol-related deaths):
|State||Total Fatalities||Alcohol-Related Fatalities|
|Dist of Columbia||37||14||36%|
*According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "A motor vehicle crash is considered to be alcohol-related if at least one driver or non-occupant (such as a pedestrian or pedalcyclist) involved in the crash is determined to have had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 gram per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. Thus, any fatality that occurs in an alcohol-related crash is considered an alcohol-related fatality. The term 'alcohol-related' does not indicate that a crash or fatality was caused by the presence of alcohol."
Note the last paragraph, and in particular, the last sentence. This would seem to make the statistics above a little misleading since we tend to think that alcohol-related crashes are caused by drunk drivers. But if a sober driver kills an alcohol-impaired pedestrian, it's still considered an alcohol-related crash.