A 28-year-old woman who was behind the wheel of an SUV that crashed spectacularly in Northeast Colorado Springs on Jan. 20 has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol. A video of the accident that was captured by a dashboard camera and posted on social media has garnered thousands of views. The footage shows the SUV striking a concrete wall several times as it made its way up the South Rockrimmon Boulevard entrance ramp to Interstate 25. The SUV then struck a guardrail on I-25 before flipping over into a ravine.
The driver who recorded the viral footage and several other motorists pulled the woman from her overturned vehicle. They told responding police officers that she attempted to leave the scene on foot after saying that she had to get home to take care of her dog. Officers say that they were surprised to discover that the local woman had suffered only minor injuries in the single-vehicle accident. The crash and response effort caused long delays on I-25.
The woman was taken into custody at the scene on suspicion of drunk driving. She was released later in the day. Initial reports do not indicate whether or not police conducted any toxicology tests, but they do reveal that the woman has been charged with drunk driving on at least two prior occasions. Her most recent DUI took place in El Paso County in 2014.
Attorneys with drunk driving defense experience would likely seek to resolve cases like this one during plea negotiations. The penalties for repeat DUI offenders can be severe, but prosecutors may be willing to reduce them substantially to secure a speedy and successful resolution. Mitigating arguments that attorneys could make when presented with a set of facts like this include the fact that no other vehicles were involved and no road users suffered significant injuries.