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Denver Auto Accident Attorney Explains What to Do when Hit by Drink Driver

Mark A. Simon Oct. 24, 2018

Even when we are the most cautious, we cannot control outside factors that surround us—which holds true in the case of automobile accidents. Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents and fatalities in Colorado are on the rise, putting responsible drivers on high alert. Knowing what to do in the case of being hit by a drunk driver in advance can help you navigate through the legal process. Learn more about drunk driving accidents and how your local Denver auto accident attorney can help you with your case.

Colorado Legal Limits

In the state of Colorado, there are two types of incidents for driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of alcohol, or DUI for short, and driving while ability is impaired, known as DWAI. First and foremost, it is best to always get a designated driver or call a cab or Uber when drinking. This will keep you from being a liability on the roads as your fellow drivers will be safe. Reviewing the DMV’s DUI & DWI in Colorado basic information, a person can be charged with a DUI when they are in control of a vehicle while under the influences of drugs and/or alcohol. A DUI is the more severe criminal act of the two—but a person should aim to not be charged with either. A person that is 21-years-old or older cannot have a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is 0.08 percent or higher. If they do, they will be charged with a DUI. For those under the legal limit to drink alcohol, the BAC level is 0.02 percent. Offenders face fines up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, a suspended license for nine months and up to 96 hours of community service and alcohol education courses. Just because a person does not exceed the 0.08 percent BAC limit does not mean they will not be in trouble with the law in the event of an incident. If a police officer sees questionable behavior on the roads and a person has a BAC of 0.05 percent, they can be charged with a DWAI. This means their ability to operate a vehicle has been impaired from drugs or alcohol. Those charged with a DWAI can receive eight points on their licenses, which leads into a suspension. Also, there is a fine up to $1,500, up to one year in jail and up to 96 hours of community service required. Second and third offenses lead to more extreme jail sentences, fines, suspensions, and other penalties.

Drunk and Impaired Driving Stats

Based on Colorado’s traffic and safety statistics, there was an increase of more than 10 percent in fatal drunk driving accident in 2017. There was almost a one percent increase in DUI and DWAI incidents reported. To combat this, in the state’s strategic plan, they aim to reduce drunk driving fatalities and injuries through auto accidents by five percent. In 2017, they were 1.4 percent closer to their goal. They also hope to reduce DUI and DWAI crashes and fatalities by five percent, as well as unrestrained occupant fatalities. But DUI and DWAI incidents do not just happen between two cars. Pedestrians have seen a near 50 percent increase in incidents since 2015. With so many people paying attention to their phones or other things while walking, it makes it more likely that people do not pay as much attention to their surroundings.

Common Times of Year for Increase in Drunk Driving Incidents

While drunk drivers can happen at any time, there are certain days of year a person and families should be extra cautious. Some of the main holidays that lead to a spike in claims include:

  • New Years’ Eve and New Year’s Day

  • Super Bowl

  • St. Patrick’s Day

  • Cinco de Mayo

  • Labor Day

  • Independence Day

  • Memorial Day

  • Halloween

  • Thanksgiving (and the day before Thanksgiving)

  • December holidays

Incidents are most likely at night but can happen during the day. When driving, always stay on alert for distracted and impaired drivers.

What to Do if You’re in an Accident

If you are in a car accident, your safety is your top priorities. If a physically fine and damage is minimal/car is in working condition, you can move the car safely to the side of the road. Be sure to turn on your flashers. Second, make sure to call authorities immediately. You can inform the officer of your go-to concerns upon their arrival. Once you get out of the vehicle, get the other driver’s information. This includes their name, phone number, driver’s license, and insurance information. This will be key in your insurance claim. Third, document, document, document. Take quality photos of everything as that will help your case. It is also important to quickly write down what happened while all is fresh in your mind. Include every detail possible, including the date, time and location. If presented with anything to sign, hold off unless it is from your insurance agent or your premier auto accident attorney. Speaking of insurance, they will be your final call after you speak with the police. They will walk you through kicking off your medical claim.

What to Know if You are Hit by a Drunk Driver

Upon being hit by a drunk or impaired driver, contact a go-to accident attorney. A lawyer will specialize in assisting Denver drunk driving victims to help them get the settlement they deserve. From injuries to deaths, it is important to have a lawyer that will fight for your rights. Money will assist with medical claims, pain and suffering, and more. For an attorney you can trust during your drunk driving case, contact the office of Mark A Simon. As an experienced attorney, Mark will work through your claim to ensure you receive what you are entitled to. The best way to be prepared is to save our office number in your phone. This will help you quickly make a call in an emergency situation, helping you get a great start to the process.