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Stricter DUI law starts in Colorado on January 1

While frequently devastating, drunk driving accidents are one of the most preventable accidents in Denver. These negligent drivers cause families to be turned upside down in an instant. Serious injuries and even death are often caused by a drunk driver; these can be completely prevented if the driver elects to stay sober.

A new DUI law in Colorado goes into effect on January 1. Any Colorado driver who refuses to take a sobriety test will be labeled a "persistent drunk driver." This label means their license would have a one-year suspension. Moreover, to get their license back during this suspension, the driver must agree to having a breathalyzer hooked up to their car. They would need to blow into the device before their car can start. This option, though, would only be available after a mandatory suspension period of two months.

Under the current law, persistent drunk drivers are those whose BAC is over .17 or who have multiple drunk driving convictions. In 2014, the BAC limit for the persistent drunk driver label will be lowered to .15. In 2012, almost one-third of drunk drivers refused to use a Breathalyzer.

This new law will hopefully cut down on the number of drunk driving accidents. These accidents are entirely avoidable on the part of the drunk driver, yet result in lives and families being changed forever. Families affected by a drunk driver may find that a legal professional skilled in wrongful death can help recover financial compensation for their tremendous loss. An attorney can investigate what happened to cause a loved one's death and who is at fault. Nothing can bring back the loss of a loved one, of course, but financial compensation can help with the large medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of wages and moving forward with the grieving process.

Denver families are all too often affected by drunk driving accidents. The new Colorado law set to go into effect in January will hopefully help prevent some of these tragic situations.

Source: ABC 7 Denver, "Starting on Jan. 1, drivers who refuse sobriety tests will be labeled 'persistent drunk drivers'," Marshall Zelinger, Dec. 17, 2013

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