DWAI in Colorado Springs
It's important to realize that when you are charged with DWAI, Colorado Springs law can be different than other states. You need a local attorney to help you sort out the details of your case. Let Dieringer Law be the office you trust to handle your legal matters. Our firm is dedicated to serving you and will do whatever is needed to make sure you are informed and confident throughout your case.
Driving while ability impaired normally carries lower sentences than a charge of driving while intoxicated, but is still a serious charge that can carry up to six months in jail as well as a hefty fine. Hiring legal representation is the safest way to make sure you will get the justice you deserve.
It is important to contact a lawyer before you have your first appearance in front of the judge. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that important evidence or testimony becomes lost or forgotten. There are over one hundred ways that the police could have acted improperly in gathering evidence against you or arresting you that could significantly change the course of your case. You can trust us to investigate your case fully and explore all options in mounting your defense.
If you are in need of a lawyers experienced in DWAI, Colorado Springs firm Dieringer law is the office you should choose. Give us a call today and receive a free consultation regarding your case. One call could save you thousands of dollars and a lot of hassle. Our team members are looking forward to hearing from you.
OPINION: Driver beware
May 21, 2009 - 11:31 PM
Through Memorial Day weekend, police will be out in full force trying to charge people with drunken driving and failure to wear seat belts in a sincere effort to save lives. Individual liberties will be in jeopardy each time a driver gets behind the wheel, and it's each citizen's duty to defend them.
To begin protecting their rights, drivers should decide against drinking and driving. Stay sober, sober up, find a sober ride, or just stay put. Drivers should not get behind the wheel, even if they have consumed only a small amount of alcohol. While responsible consumption probably wouldn't cause a crash, it could land a driver in jail and separate him or her from friends and loved ones. More than 100 Colorado law enforcement agencies are stepping up enforcement in hopes of arresting drivers who have consumed even small amounts of alcohol.
Driving while stone cold sober, however, does not mean drivers should let down their guards. The rights to live without unprovoked interaction with police and unlawful searches are important, and millions of innocent people have gone to jail after failing to guard their rights.
The most grotesque assault on civil liberties may come at one or more sobriety checkpoints that will operate throughout the state this weekend. At sobriety checkpoints, police detain motorists for the sole purpose of obtaining evidence against them. When they detain a driver, they look for anything that might justify an arrest. Though it seems absurd, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled to allow sobriety checkpoints.
In Colorado, however, drivers are not required to subject themselves to this apparent violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unwarranted searches and seizures. All sobriety checkpoints must be established at locations in which drivers have reasonable opportunities to avoid them. Drivers are free to make legal U-turns, or to turn left or right at the first opportunity in order to avoid a checkpoint. Officers are not permitted to herd drivers through checkpoints against their will, and the law prohibits them from pursuing drivers simply because they choose to avoid checkpoints.
"They're not supposed to pursue you for turning around, but that doesn't mean they won't," said Kevin Churchill, a Denver criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUI defense. "There's legally proper and there's reality."
With that in mind, drivers should decide against operating any vehicle this weekend that has a burned out headlight, a seriously cracked windshield, or other visibly faulty equipment that may give officers legal justification for a stop. If an innocent driver turns around to avoid a checkpoint, and is stopped and charged with a crime, it's important that a lawyer be able to have any evidence dismissed by convincing a prosecutor or judge that the stop was unlawful.
Defense attorneys advise that any driver detained by police, at checkpoints or during standard stops, crack the driver's side window only enough to slide a license to an officer. This will prevent an officer from claiming he or she smelled alcohol in a car, which is common justification for requesting roadside sobriety tests, breath tests or blood tests. At sobriety checkpoints, officers will lean into open car windows in order to obtain evidence in the form of suspicious odors, so it's best for drivers to keep the windows up.
Colorado Springs lawyer Christine Dieringer, who has defended drunken driving cases for 17 years, advises the public to refuse roadside sobriety tests, whether or not alcohol has been consumed. The tests are difficult to pass even when sober, and they serve only to justify arrests. Refusal of the roadside tests will not result in an automatic revocation of one's license.
Drivers also have the right to refuse requests for breath tests and blood tests that are used to determine blood-alcohol content. Refusal of both, however, will usually result in revocation of a driver's license for a year or more. Dieringer said she can give no correct, one-size-fits-all answer regarding requests for breath or blood tests or appropriate interactions with police. Innocent drivers who can live without licenses may want to decline providing potential evidence against themselves by refusing the blood and breath tests. Those who can't may want to consider the fact Dieringer, Churchill and other lawyers say they are having increasing success convincing juries that breath test results are not reliably accurate.
Innocent drivers should not give police permission to search their cars under any circumstances. If officers believe they have lawful justification for a search, they will obtain permission from a judge. Drivers should be polite and respectful, but answer no questions. A driver should speak only to give his or her name, address and date of birth.
Coloradans this weekend should remember that innocent people sometimes spend the weekend in jail and wind up with convictions on their records, mostly because they fail to uphold their own rights. Know that willfully providing evidence will not make the police your friends. It's their business to make arrests. Don't break the law, and do not give away the protections established to guard against unlawful searches, arrests and prosecutions.
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