In addition to its standard consumer offerings of recall postings and technical service bulletins, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) occasionally takes an in-depth look at state laws to evaluate how different legal approaches affect local drivers.
This was the case when the NHTSA released "Drug Per Se Laws: A Review of Their Use in States," a report that took a closer look at Colorado's handling of DUID cases, those in which a driver is not arrested for a DUI but shows signs of impairment from multiple substances, which may include alcohol.
According to the NHTSA's findings, the average Colorado DUID case unfolds in the following steps:
1. The officer develops reasonable suspicion, observing improper driving and making the initial stop
2. The officer establishes probable cause to believe the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs
3. Preliminary breath tests are used to determine the condition of the driver and whether alcohol is contributing to the impairment
4. If a low or no BAC is registered, but there are signs of obvious impairment, the driver is arrested
5. A DRE is called in while additional information is gathered
6. The officer requests blood or urine tests and sends a sample to a state or local lab
7. If drug results are positive, the licensing agency can revoke the driver's license.
The NHTSA says that most of these cases result in guilty pleas, but those that do go to trial require the officers to provide evidence for the stop and suspicion of drug use. From there, it must be shown that the driver was operating a vehicle while impaired to the least degree.
However, due to the many complexities of these laws, drivers who believe they were improperly arrested for this offense or that irregularities in testing contributed to their charge can mount an effective defense with the help of a law firm in Denver. At The Orr Law Firm, we can arrange for you to meet with a Denver, Colorado, lawyer who can help you as you try to reinstate your driving privileges and your good name.