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What is vehicular homicide in Colorado?

Drunk driving accidents happen all too frequently and in some cases, there are serious injuries or deaths. For those charged with driving under the influence in Colorado who were involved in an accident resulting in death, another charge you may face is vehicular homicide.

When someone else's death is caused by a drunk driver, the law sees it as a "strict liability" crime. This means that no state of mind or intent to harm is required. In most cases, vehicular homicide is charged as a Class 3 felony. The following guidelines are used to presume whether someone was or was not under the influence. It is based on their blood alcohol concentration.

-- .05 BAC or less: The presumption is that the defendant was not under the influence.

-- .05 to .08 BAC: This level of BAC can be used as evidence at trial, but it is not automatically determined to have been under the influence.

-- .08 or higher: The presumption is that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol.

If the defendant was under the influence of a prescription drug when the accident occurred, that would not be able to used as a defense. The law defines voluntary homicide as causing death through reckless driving and the defendant should have known the risks of driving while taking the prescription medication.

If you are facing charges for a fatal accident that was allegedly caused because you were driving while intoxicated, your attorney can work with you to develop a strong defense. The penalties for this crime are high, so it's important to start working on your case as soon as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Colorado Manslaughter Laws," accessed Nov. 08, 2016

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