The felony DUI law is making waves in the Colorado Supreme Court, where a man stopped eight times for suspected drunk driving will make his case to have his felony convictions overturned. It’s not often that DUI cases go this far in the court system.
In 2005, the driver was spotted driving at night with his headlights off. When an officer approached with his flashers on, the driver began weaving erratically and did not immediately stop. In 2006, an officer approached a vehicle that was stopped at an intersection, but was still running. Looking inside, the officer found the alleged drunk driver sleeping inside the car, foot on the brakes. It took five minutes to awaken him. In both incidents, the smell of alcohol was strong on his breath.
After the 2007 arrest, police discovered that the man had six other alcohol-related offenses. He was charged with attempted assault as well as manslaughter, two charges that ultimately led to the case reaching Colorado’s highest court.
Do Attempted Assault and Manslaughter Charges Require a Victim?
This particular case is interesting because of its journey through the courts. The state’s court of appeals ruled two to one that the drunk driver should not be charged with attempted assault and manslaughter because the prosecution could not prove that there were any identifiable victims in his crimes, other than the public at large. The court admitted that the defendant was a public menace when he drove drunk, but clarified that that standard can be applied to every other impaired driver. Under that line of thinking, should every other impaired driver face charges for assault or manslaughter, even when no identifiable person was directly endangered? We’ll find out when the Colorado Supreme Court issues its decision.
Our DUI defense attorneys are dedicated to helping you reduce your penalties for your drunk or drugged driving case in Denver and throughout the state of Colorado.