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Underage DUIs Explained by a Denver Criminal Lawyer


September 12, 2018

When we think about drunk driving and DUI charges, it’s far easier to imagine an adult behind the wheel. It’s far easier to make the mistake of getting behind the wheel impaired when it’s legal for you to purchase alcohol. Unfortunately, it’s not just adults that find themselves in need of an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney. In fact, many younger drivers get charged with an underage DUI each year. As a parent, you’ll do anything to protect your child, even from the legal system, but if you’re not sure what to expect, helping your child can be a real challenge. Here’s what you need to know about underage DUI convictions.

Alcohol Levels are Different For Teens

As an adult, you can legally be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent. Since it’s legal for you to drink alcohol, the law does not penalize you for getting behind the wheel if you’ve had a beer or two at the bar after work. However, for teens, the limit is significantly lower. For all individuals under age 21, the limit is .02 percent. If an officer smells alcohol on their breath, it may be enough take them into custody even if they were not driving erratically. Remember, it’s illegal for individuals under age 21 to consume alcohol in any amount.

Penalties and Punishments

Teens make mistakes and though law enforcement is strict about preventing underage drinking, they understand that your teen needs to learn from the experience. For most first-time offenses, teen drivers can expect a fine, suspension of their license for at least three months, and mandatory community service. For additional charges, teens might be expected to lose their license for a full calendar year, additional community service hours, and possibly even a jail sentence or probation. Ultimately, the sentence your teen is given will vary based on the circumstances surrounding the arrest. If they were caught driving and no one was injured, the sentence will be lighter than if they were responsible for property damage or injuries.

What a DUI Means for Their Future

DUI charges can have far-reaching effects on more than just a teen’s driving record. It can influence college scholarship awards, admission, and even impact their ability to get a job, just as it would if they were an adult. There can be social stigma attached to the experience as well, making it more difficult for them to integrate into their existing social scene at school. Even underage DUI charges are a serious matter and it’s important to explain what could happen to your teen if they’re found driving under the influence.

If your teen has been charged with an underage DUI, it’s important to get help from an experienced attorney immediately. The legal system can be difficult to navigate on your own and a dedicated lawyer will be able to ensure that your teen’s case is represented fairly throughout the entire process. Contact the Law Office of John L. Buckley, P.C. today and schedule a free consultation.
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Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer Weighs in On the Rules of Boating


August 1, 2018

Colorado may be a land-locked state, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of boating opportunities along the Front Range. With areas such as Chatfield Reservoir and Cherry Creek Reservoir, Coloradans can boat several months out of the year. But with boating and fun often comes the consumption of alcohol, and Denver criminal defense lawyer John L. Buckley would like to remind residents that boating under the influence is dangerous—and it’s against the law.
You can read the specifics on boating under the influence and the laws that surround boating at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

Use Proper Etiquette When on the Water

Colorado’s boating community includes wakeboarders, water skiers, anglers, personal watercraft users, and many other motorized boating participants. Other popular water sports include kayaking and paddle boarding. With all that activity, the water can get a bit crowded sometimes. Many people are new to some of these sports, so they might not always be aware of the rules that should be followed to keep everyone safe.
One of the most important things to remember is to keep a proper distance between yourself and any other watercraft. There should always be a 150-foot distance between boats and anyone fishing on shore. This also pertains to nonmotorized vehicles such as kayaks and paddleboards.
If you are in a fishing boat, keep in mind that anchoring in a spot where there are a number of paddleboarders might not be the best idea. You should know the designated travel routes for skiers and wakeboarders so you do not anchor in their path. It just makes sense to be courteous of others.
Keep in mind that the minimum age to operate a motorized boat in Colorado is 16, although there is an exception to this: 14-year-olds may operate a boat if they have completed a boating safety certificate class. The speed limit in the water is no more than 40 miles per hour.

Don’t Consume Alcohol When Operating a Vehicle on the Water

If you are ticketed for boating under the influence, you will lose the right to operate the vessel for three months. If you are caught a second time, then you’ll be forced to suffer a ban for a full year.
It’s important to note that the word “vessel” does not just refer to motorized boats. Jet skiers, canoers, and so forth are also subject to operating under the influence fines. Keep in mind too that even if you are idling on the water without actually moving—even if the engine is off—this is still considered “operating” under the law.

If you have been cited for a boating violation such as boating under the influence, be sure to hire an experienced attorney. At the Law Office of John L. Buckley, we will fight on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome. We understand this can happen, and we do not believe that a single mistake should ruin anyone’s future. Regardless of the charges you are facing, we can help you prepare the best defense. Everyone deserves fair and reliable representation from an expert such as those at the Law Office of John L. Buckley, PC. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.  
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Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Offers Advice on SR-22 Insurance


July 25, 2018

If you have ever heard of SR-22 insurance, you might have a vague notion about what it is exactly. But if you have never had it yourself, you probably don’t know too many details. Chances are, if you have been a safe driver, you haven’t had a need for it. But here are some basics you should know about SR-22 from Denver criminal defense attorney John L. Buckley.

What Is SR-22 and When Is It Needed?

Although it is often referred to as “insurance,” it is really a verification of the fact that you are carrying adequate car insurance coverage. If you were ever in an accident or convicted of a traffic offense, and you were driving without car insurance, this means you were not able to provide proof of financial responsibility.
There are other reasons you might need SR-22 coverage on your insurance policy:
  • After being convicted of driving under the influence or some other moving violation
  • Getting too many tickets in a short amount of time
  • Getting caught driving after your license had been suspended or revoked.

How Much Will SR-22 Insurance Cost?

The cost of SR-22 will vary from state to state, but there is a nominal fee to set it up with the insurance company. This might run you about 20 dollars or so.
You will have to purchase an insurance policy to go along with your SR-22 coverage, and the cost of that will be based on a number of factors, including your driving record. Most insurance companies will consider you a riskier driver if you need SR-22 coverage. It’s always a good idea to shop around whenever you are looking for auto insurance. Read this article from the experts at NerdWallet for tips: 8 Ways to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance Possible.
Keep in mind that if you move to another state, you’ll have to carry SR-22 coverage in that state, and the requirements might be different so be sure to find out through your insurance company.

How Long Will I Have to Carry SR-22 Insurance?

Again, this can vary from state to state, but you can probably expect to have SR-22 coverage for about three years. You must be careful not to let your insurance lapse or be canceled. Your insurance company is required to notify the DMV if this happens, and this will result in a suspension of your driver’s license. Be a safe, financially stable driver to avoid having this happen.

If you have made a mistake and have been charged with a crime, it doesn’t have to ruin your life. Do not try to navigate this complex legal process by yourself. Regardless of how serious the charges, our experienced staff will help you prepare the best defense for your case. Everyone deserves fair and reliable representation from an expert such as those at the Law Office of John L. Buckley, PC. Regardless of the charges you are facing, we can help you prepare the best defense. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.  
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Denver Criminal Lawyer Talks About the Accuracy of Breathalyzer Devices


July 18, 2018

If you get pulled over and the police officer suspects you have been drinking, you will more than likely be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer test is used to determine a driver’s blood alcohol level, and if it is over 0.08 percent, you can be arrested for driving under the influence.. By driving in the state of Colorado, your agreement to the test is implied. But just how accurate are these breathalyzer tests? According to Denver criminal lawyer John Buckley, the accuracy of breathalyzer tests can be impacted by a number of extenuating circumstances.

Health Conditions

Some medical conditions can have an impact on your breathalyzer reading, including the following:
  • Diabetes. You may have higher levels of acetone in your system than someone who does not have diabetes. What this means is that you could blow above 0.08 percent on an older breathalyzer machine that hasn’t been designed to distinguish between ethyl alcohol already in the body and alcohol that has been consumed.
  • Keto diet. This way of eating has gained popularity in recent years, and it can impact the way your results show up on a breathalyzer. Find out more about how the popular keto diet can impact a breathalyzer in this article, written by a medical doctor: Low-Carbers Beware the Breathalyzer.
  • GERD. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, you might blow above the legal limit even if you have consumed a very small amount of alcohol.
  • Asthma or other respiratory diseases. In order for a breathalyzer to be accurate, the person has to blow into it for a steady four to five seconds, which could be difficult for those suffering from respiratory illness.

Medications

Medications that are used for colds often contain up to 70 percent alcohol, and these can impact the readings on a breathalyzer. It’s best to avoid driving while under the influence of these medications—and there are usually warnings right on the box that you should avoid operating heavy machinery while taking them.
Lack of Proper Calibration
Breathalyzer devices need to be calibrated on a regular basis; if they are not, their reading could be inaccurate.

Breath Fresheners

It’s not uncommon to take a swig of mouthwash before heading out for a date or other social event. Many tpyes of mouthwash, however, have alcohol in them and this can impact your breathalyzer results. Some breath mints and gum also contain alcohol. You might want to think twice before using these products before you get behind the wheel as they could skew breathalyzer results.

There are many other factors, including operator error, that can have an impact on the results of your breathalyzer test. If you had breathalyzer test but you believe it was not accurate, you will need an attorney to handle your DUI case. Contact the Law Office of John Buckley immediately following your arrest for driving under the influence. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation.
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Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Open Containers and How to Transport Alcohol Safely


July 11, 2018

Summer is the season of barbecues, outdoor parties, and music festivals. All those events mean the temptation to enjoy your favorite beverage or recreational marijuana product will be great. While it’s fine to enjoy yourself at the event or party, it’s important that you understand Colorado’s open container laws. While an infraction won’t leave you searching for an experienced Denver criminal lawyer, it can result in fines and traffic violations that leave a derogatory mark on your license. Here’s what you need to know about the open container laws and what you can do to ensure that you’re transporting alcohol and marijuana safely this summer.
 

What Classifies as an Open Container


When it comes to alcohol, any open bottle, package, or can of alcohol counts as an open container, even if it’s been resealed. Any beverage with 0.5 percent alcohol by volume is subject to the open container law. This includes all non-alcoholic and full-strength beer, hard liquor like whiskey and vodka, wine, and even some kombucha beverages just to name a few.
 
If you’re transporting dry marijuana or edibles, the open container definition is similar, but a bit different. If the container is open or the protective seal is broken on the container, it is said to be an open container under the law. However, there are a few requirements that must be satisfied in order for you to be charged with a violation. The container must be open, the marijuana must be partially removed from the container, and there must be visible evidence that the marijuana was consumed in the car. If the police cannot prove that you consumed marijuana, whether by smoking or eating the product, in the vehicle, you are not in violation of the open container law. Keep in mind, if you test positive for marijuana or are exhibiting signs of being high behind the wheel, you may still be arrested for driving under the influence.

 
How You Can Safely Transport Open Containers


Though driving with an open container is illegal, that doesn’t mean you have to waste what’s left of your delicious beverage. It just means you have to be cautious about how you transport the leftovers home. Instead of driving with the container inside the car, put it in the trunk. This shows police that you have no way of accessing the product on the road. If you can’t access the alcohol or pot, you can’t imbibe while you drive. If you have a truck and lack an enclosed trunk, putting the products in the truck bed will still count as properly storing an open container. To reduce damage while transporting the containers, consider bringing a padded cooler bag with you if you suspect that you’ll have leftover beverages.
 
Stay safe this summer and take the time to properly transport open containers whether you’re coming home from a party or bringing back a delicious bottle of wine after a wonderful dinner. If you find yourself charged with a DUI, don’t hesitate to contact the team at The Law Office of John L. Buckley and schedule a free consultation.
 
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