DUI & Criminal Defense Blog

Subscribe to Receive News in Your Inbox:

Denver Criminal Lawyer Reveals Labor Day Weekend DUI Arrests


September 20, 2017

People often celebrate Labor Day by kicking back and enjoying a few alcoholic beverages with friends and family. Law enforcement officers know that people like to drink alcohol during Labor Day weekend, which is why they are out on the roads looking for drunk drivers every year when this holiday rolls around. This year was no exception. According to a recently released report, there are hundreds of people that may be in need of a Denver criminal lawyer after being arrested for DUI over the Labor Day weekend.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched its The Heat is On Labor Day DUI enforcement campaign on August 18th. The campaign concluded on September 5th, the day after Labor Day, and the results were recently released to the public. CDOT revealed that 1184 intoxicated drivers were cited by law enforcement officers between August 18th-September 5th. This is a 22.8% increase over last year’s 964 DUI arrests during the same time period.

Just a few months ago, CDOT announced that there was a 19.8% increase in DUI arrests over Fourth of July weekend compared to last year. Based on these two reports, it is clear that either more people are driving while under the influence or law enforcement is being more aggressive in its pursuit of DUI arrests. Read DUI arrests rise over Independence Day weekend.  

The nearly 1200 drivers were cited all over the state of the Colorado, but many of them were in the Denver area. In fact, the Denver Police Department was responsible for 88 of the arrests, which was the third highest total among all 121 law enforcement agencies that participated in the campaign. The highest number of arrests were made by the Colorado Springs Police Department followed by the Aurora Police Department, with 106 and 93 arrests, respectively.

Labor Day may be over now, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that it’s safe to drive while intoxicated now that the holiday weekend is behind us. CDOT—along with the Colorado State Patrol—have already launched another DUI enforcement campaign that began on September 15th known as the Fall Festivals DUI campaign. This campaign was established to target people who drive home drunk after attending a football game, tailgating party, or music festival, three types of events that are popular during this time of year. Nearly 1,500 drivers were arrested during this campaign last year, so the law enforcement agencies in the state expect to see high numbers again during this year’s campaign.

The law enforcement agencies in Colorado have made it very clear that they are always on the road looking for drunk drivers. If you are arrested and charged with DUI, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our criminal defense attorneys will 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 regarding your DUI case.
Read More...

Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Discusses Ride-Sharing Apps & DUIs


September 13, 2017

Ride-sharing apps have skyrocketed in popularity over the last several years. Apps such as Uber and Lyft have made it much easier—and more affordable—for people to get a ride in a hurry. Some people believe these apps have also led to a decline in DUIs. But, is it true? According to Denver criminal defense attorney John Buckley, it depends on the study.

Last year, Uber reported that the presence of their services in major cities across the country had led to a significant decrease in the number of drunk drivers in these areas. The study showed that requests for Uber drivers peaked during the hours that drunk driving accidents are most likely to occur. Uber also claimed to be responsible for a 10% decrease in DUI arrests in Seattle. As soon as Uber made this announcement, many people were skeptical about the results since the research had been paid for by Uber.

But, several independent studies have backed these results. One study looked at four out of the five boroughs in New York City and found that there had been a 25-35% reduction in car accidents involving alcohol since Uber was first introduced in the area in 2011. The study concluded that even though people in New York City have access to other forms of transportation, ride-sharing apps are easier for intoxicated people to use, which is why they are more effective. Read more about Uber and drunk driving prevention.

However, others don’t agree with the results of these studies. The American Journal of Epidemiology conducted a larger study last year to determine if ride-sharing apps really did reduce drunk driving incidents. The researchers looked at data from 100 densely populated counties across the country and were unable to find any data that showed Uber’s presence led to a decrease in DUIs.

The researchers of this study agree that Uber should reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road since it is so easy and convenient to use, however they do not believe that it does. This could be because people who are intoxicated are not thinking clearly enough to remember that ride-sharing apps are an option. Or, it could be because many intoxicated people are not able to comprehend the fact that they are too drunk to drive.

For now, it is unclear whether these ride-sharing apps really do lead to a reduction in the number of drunk drivers on the road. More research is needed in this area in order to reach a more definitive conclusion on the matter.

Using a ride-sharing app to get home is a great way to avoid a DUI if you have been drinking. But, we understand that you may make a mistake and forget about this option. If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys 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 regarding your case.
Read More...

Criminal Defense in Denver: What You Need to Know About Expressed Consent


September 6, 2017

The term expressed consent is often used in DUI cases, but many people still aren’t sure exactly what it means. Even if you haven’t been charged with DUI, if you are a driver in the state of Colorado, it’s important to understand what this term means. Here’s what you need to know about expressed consent according to John L. Buckley, an attorney who practices criminal defense in Denver:

What is expressed consent?

The expressed consent law in Colorado states that drivers automatically consent to breath or blood testing as long as there is probable cause for a police officer to ask you to perform this test. As long as you have a Colorado driver’s license, then the law assumes that you have given expressed consent to perform these tests if you are ever pulled over by a police officer who suspects you are under the influence.

There are certain rules that must be followed in this situation. First, the test must be administered within two hours from the time that you have stopped driving. It is up to you to determine whether you want to have a blood or breath test, but choose carefully, because you cannot change your mind once you have made a decision. If you tell the police officer you would like to do a breath test and then change your mind at the last minute and request a blood test, this is considered a refusal.

Can you refuse to take the test?

Refusing to take the test is an option, but there will be consequences if you make this choice. If this is the first time that you’ve refused to take a test, the state may suspend your driver’s license for up to 12 months. If this is the second time you’ve refused to take a test, you could lose your license for up to 2 years. Learn more about Colorado DUI: refusal to take a blood, breath, or urine test.

In some cases, the police officer can force you to take a test even if you refuse to do so. For example, let’s say you collide with another car and seriously injure the driver. Because someone was injured, the police officer has the right to restrain you in order to force you to take the test. Police officers can also perform tests on people who are unconscious without getting their consent.

Can I be convicted of DUI if I refuse the test?

Yes. In fact, prosecutors often use the fact that you refused to take the test as evidence that you were intoxicated at the time of your arrest. Therefore, it’s important not to make the mistake of assuming that you can avoid DUI consequences by refusing the test.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys 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 regarding your case.
Read More...

Denver Criminal Lawyer Reveals Challenges of Marijuana DUI Charges


August 23, 2017

Everyone knows that drinking and driving is illegal, but you may not be aware that it’s also illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. Colorado law states that anyone with over five nanograms of THC in their system can be charged with DUI. But, police officers have the right to arrest anyone they suspect is impaired, regardless of their THC level. If you are accused of driving under the influence of marijuana, it’s important to understand that there are many ways that a Denver criminal defense lawyer can defend you against these charges. Here are some of the aspects of the case that may be challenged:

Observation Errors

As previously mentioned, police officers have the right to arrest anyone they believe to be impaired based on their observations. Officers are trained to look for signs of impairment, but that doesn’t mean they always get it right. A police officer could think you are under the influence of marijuana just because you are tired or acting nervous. If you are arrested based on a police officer’s observations, an attorney may be able to prove that the police officer was incorrect in assuming that you were under the influence of marijuana.

Blood Testing

Police officers can determine how much alcohol is in your system using a roadside breathalyzer test, but there is no such approved device that can be used to test for marijuana. The only way to detect marijuana in someone’s system is to perform a blood or urine test. Blood and urine tests detect THC, which is a cannabinoid found in marijuana. Unfortunately, THC can remain in your system for days or weeks, especially if you are a regular cannabis user. Therefore, the blood or urine test results may show that you have THC in your system even if you have not smoked marijuana recently. If the test shows that you are above the legal limit of five nanograms of THC, an attorney may be able to disprove these results based on the unreliability of the testing method.  Also, urine tests can't show current levels of THC so most police officers won't even offer that as an option.  They will insist that you take a blood test.

Legal Limit

The legal limit for alcohol, which is 0.08%, was established after numerous studies showed that it would be dangerous to drive at or above this level of intoxication. However, the legal limit of five nanograms of THC is not backed by scientific evidence. In fact, a study commissioned by AAA found that it would be impossible to set an impairment limit for THC because marijuana affects everyone differently. Regular users may not be impaired with five nanograms of THC in their system, while first-time users may be significantly impaired. If you are charged with DUI because you had more than five nanograms of THC in your system, an attorney may still be able to argue that you were not impaired at the time. Read driving high: legal limits have no scientific basis.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys 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 regarding your case.
Read More...

Everything You Need to Know About Wet Reckless Charges According to A Denver Criminal Defense Attorney


August 16, 2017

The state of Colorado takes driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously, so it’s no surprise that there are harsh penalties for this crime. If you have been charged with DUI, a Denver criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges reduced to what is known as a “wet reckless.” Here’s everything you need to know:

What is a wet reckless?
There is no actual crime in Colorado that is called a wet reckless. This is just a term used to describe a certain type of plea bargain that a prosecutor may offer to a DUI defendant. If the prosecutor decides to offer you a wet reckless plea bargain, you will be asked to plead guilty to reckless driving instead of DUI. The term “wet reckless” is used because the plea bargain involves a reckless driving charge and the use of alcohol.

It’s important to note that not every DUI defendant will be offered this type of plea deal. A wet reckless plea deal is typically only offered in cases where the defendant is a first-time offender, did not cause any injuries or fatalities, and did not have a very high BAC level at the time of his arrest.

What happens if you accept a wet reckless plea bargain?
If you decide to accept a wet reckless plea bargain, you will be convicted of reckless driving. This charge will show up on your record just as it would if you were found guilty of it in court—there is no asterisk by the charge that indicates you accepted a plea deal.

Reckless driving is a far less serious crime than DUI, so the penalties aren’t as severe. If you accept this plea deal, you may face penalties such as a brief stint in jail, fines, license revocation, and the mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education course. Points will also be added to your license, which means your monthly insurance rate will go up indefinitely. Can I plead to wet reckless in Colorado?

Should you accept a wet reckless plea deal?
Every DUI case is unique, so the answer to this question will vary on a case-by-case basis. It’s never a good idea to accept or reject a plea deal without talking to an attorney. A criminal defense attorney can review the evidence that the state has against you and determine if the plea deal is in your best interest. In some cases, the attorney may feel that you have a good chance of being acquitted in trial, so taking the plea deal would not be a smart move. However, if the state has a lot of evidence against you, a plea deal may be the best option to protect your future.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys 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 regarding your case.
Read More...