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Colorado Springs Legal Issues Blog

How much does insurance increase after a Colorado DUI?

Seeing blue light flashing in your rear-view mirror proves highly unnerving. If your traffic stop ends up leading to a charge of driving while under the influence, you may find yourself facing considerable trouble. The state of Colorado takes drunk driving extremely seriously, and the penalties you should expect to face in the aftermath are numerous.

Even if it is your first time facing a drinking and driving-related charge, you could potentially face jail time, a license suspension, big fines and points on your driving record, among other potential penalties. Many of these repercussions impact your wallet. Insure.com reports that the financial implications relating to your DUI arrest are not likely to go away anytime soon.

Are you eligible for drug court in El Paso County?

The state of Colorado recognizes that, in many cases, criminal acts occur because of drug addiction. Colorado’s drug and recovery courts exist to help drug-related criminal offenders develop the skills and coping methods they need to get sober and avoid reoffending while still holding them accountable for their actions.

Not everyone is eligible or appropriate for recovery court in El Paso County, but if you are, in fact, eligible, enrolling in one just may give you the help you need while simultaneously keeping you out of jail. How may you tell if you are eligible for participating in recovery court in El Paso County?

Why Miranda rights are so important

When people in Colorado are arrested by the police, they should receive mandatory warnings that remind them of their right to protection from self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. Called Miranda warnings, this list of rights is associated with a 1966 Supreme Court case that affirmed a person's right to be warned of their constitutional protections when taken into police custody. People arrested for criminal charges must be told that they have the right to remain silent, that their words could be used against them in court later, that they have the right to an attorney and that a lawyer will be appointed for those who cannot afford their own.

These rights are a simple breakdown of Fifth Amendment protections, reminding people that they do not have to talk with the police and can ask for a lawyer no matter what tactics the police may use to extract confessions or further information during an interrogation. Many people are familiar with the concept of reading a person's rights, especially because the moment is frequently featured in police dramas in movies or television. However, when people are arrested, they may not be sure how these warnings affect their own criminal charges.

2018 DUI statistics by state

Colorado is one of the worst states in the nation for drunk driving, according to a new report that compared drunk driving rates by state. At No. 13 for overall drunk driving, Colorado posted a rate of 411 DUIs per 100,000 people in 2018. The highest overall drunk driving rate was in South Dakota where there were 721.9 DUIs per 100,000 people last year. North Dakota was No. 2 on the list followed by Wyoming, North Carolina and Mississippi.

The United States has seen a 35% decline in overall drunk driving rates between 2009 and 2018. In Colorado, the statewide decline over the same time span was around 31%. The worst year for drunk driving incidents in Colorado was in 2010 when there were 618 drunk driving arrests per 100,000 people.

How a breathalyzer campaign helped reduce impaired driving

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, or CDOT, alcohol-impaired drivers cause almost a third of all fatal vehicle crashes in the state.

This statistic generated a unique six-week-long breathalyzer campaign in which DUI offenders participated. Reducing the number of impaired drivers was the goal and the results were encouraging.

SCAN is a popular but controversial law enforcement technique

Colorado residents may be surprised to learn that a controversial technique considered to be even less reliable than polygraph testing is popular with law enforcement agencies across the country. Scientific Content Analysis, or SCAN, involves analyzing the written answers that criminal suspects provide to a series of questions, and even those who perform SCAN evaluations concede that their trust in the technique is based more on faith than on science.

Like the results of lie detector tests, SCAN evaluations are not admissible in court because they are considered unreliable. However, that has not stopped at least 417 law enforcement and military agencies in the United States from purchasing and using the technique. Police use SCAN to narrow down a list of possible suspects and focus their investigations, but civil rights groups worry that innocent people are being charged and prosecuted largely based on the words they used in a written test.

Former Broncos second-round draft pick faces federal charges

In 2002, the Denver Broncos continued to dominate with the running game by selecting Clinton Portis in the second round of the NFL draft. During his rookie season, Mr. Portis rushed for more than 1,500 yards, ultimately scoring 17 touchdowns that year. 

Today, things are different for the running back. On December 13, Mr. Portis surrendered to authorities after federal prosecutors charged him and 12 other former NFL players with health care fraud. If you know someone facing similar charges, you may want to know how a one-time sensation landed himself in legal hot water. 

Disparities between black and white incarceration rates falling

Colorado residents may be interested to learn that racial disparities have narrowed in terms of incarceration across the United States. Still, blacks are more likely to be behind bars than whites, according to recent federal figures.

This shift is partly because of a countrywide drop in imprisonments for drug offenses. The likelihood that a black individual would be incarcerated for drugs was 15 times more likely than for whites in 2000. In 2016, studies showed that blacks were only five times as likely to be incarcerated for drug crimes than whites.

228 drivers arrested during Halloween DUI enforcement blitz

The Colorado Department of Transportation launched a major enforcement campaign beginning on Halloween to target drunk drivers on state roads. During this Halloween enforcement period, stretching from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, 228 drivers were arrested and charged with impaired driving. Called "The Heat Is On," the campaign involved 91 different law enforcement agencies across the state. It marked a significant drop from the toll of the year before, however, when 378 people were arrested during the special enforcement period. Spokespeople said that holiday weekends are of particular concern for DUI because people go out to parties and consume alcohol or cannabis before driving home.

State officials said that any amount of cannabis or alcohol can impact a person's driving ability, urging people to use public transit, get a ride from a friend or call a cab or rideshare instead. The state announced that its holiday enforcement campaign would return on Nov. 22 with a 10-day blitz of DUI arrests and investigations. In 2017, 593 drivers were arrested across the state as part of the Thanksgiving police activities. During the Halloween period, 25 people were arrested in Denver, 23 in Colorado Springs and 19 in El Paso.

What you need to know about embezzlement of public property

In the leadup to the 2020 presidential election, political coverage seems to be everywhere. If you have a passion for leadership or policy, you may be thinking about becoming a public servant. Alternatively, you may already have a role in federal, state or local government. Either way, you must understand embezzlement of public property, which is a crime in the Centennial State. 

Section 18-8-407 of the Colorado Revised Statutes prohibits any public servant from converting public funds or property to his or her use, provided that doing so is a violation of law. As such, if you are a public servant and steal either money or government property, you likely violate the statute. 

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