Colorado makes it a crime for a driver to leave the scene of an accident. However, if a person drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may choose to leave the scene due to fear. When a person operates a vehicle while under the influence and leaves the scene of an accident, they face multiple criminal charges, including a hit and run and driving while impaired or driving under the influence.
Colorado’s Hit and Run Laws
When a driver is involved in a car accident, they must remain at the scene. However, there are limited circumstances that permit a motorist to leave. For example, the motorist can flee the scene to report the accident to law enforcement or to seek medical attention for injuries. Also, when the other vehicle is empty, the law permits the driver to leave, provided they leave their contact information.
In a car crash, a person must help an injured person. That includes finding help and perhaps even taking the victim to the hospital for medical assistance.
Driving Under the Influence
Colorado has severe consequences for drivers operating a motor vehicle under the influence. Typically, when a person drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) lower than 0.08%, regardless of whether there was an accident, the motorist can face a driving while ability impaired (DWAI) offense. A conviction under DWAI usually results in a misdemeanor offense. A person convicted with DWAI receives points on their license, potential jail time, hefty fines, and community service.
Driving under the influence (DUI) convictions require a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Depending on the number of convictions, a DUI charge can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties include time in jail, a few thousand dollars in fines, and license suspension. If a driver has multiple DUIs, then the penalties increase in severity, even when there is no accident.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene
When a motorist is intoxicated and leaves the car crash site, the penalties will depend on various factors. The severity of the car crash and whether anyone was injured, seriously injured, or died, will impact the penalties.
Generally, a person who’s involved in a hit-and-run faces county or state imprisonment, hefty fines, driver’s license revocation, and alcohol and substance abuse treatment. In addition, when a person drinks and drives or operates a vehicle under the influence of drugs, they will also face penalties for the DUI.
DUI Hit-and-Run is a Serious Offense
A charge of DUI is a serious charge, and leaving the scene of an accident carries hefty penalties. The harm caused when a person operates a car under the influence of drugs or alcohol and leaves the location will determine the severity of criminal charges. A person engaging in such behavior risks reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter charges as well. Our defense lawyers at the Moorhead Law Group can protect your rights. If arrested for DUI or another criminal matter, contact our office for a free consultation at 303-586-6912 or online.