In Colorado, like in all U.S. states, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or another substance that impairs you. One piece of information that is largely misunderstood is the blood alcohol content limit, which is currently set at .08%.
In Colorado, DUIs are handled a little bit differently than in other states. To start with, an automatic DUI is assumed if a driver's blood alcohol content is .08% or higher. This would be charged as a DUI.
If the driver's BAC is .05 to .07%, then they can be charged with a DWAI, which means "driving while ability impaired." If it's .02% or higher and they're under 21, they'll face a DUI.
How can the other driver's DUI help your case?
As someone who has been hurt in a collision, it's important that you understand how the other person being impaired by alcohol or another substance could impact your case.
For example, if you find out that the individual had a BAC of .06%, you could include this information in your claim to show that the driver was reckless and that their actions mean that you should receive a higher settlement or payout.
An excessive BAC level, like .17% or greater, would show extreme recklessness, which would also work in your favor when you make a claim.
Does the other person need to be convicted before you make a claim?
No, but a conviction may help you get more out of your personal injury claim. You can start your claim as soon as you would like, and your attorney will help you submit documentation, like your medical bills, to the insurance company.
If there is a criminal trial pending, then it may be worth waiting to accept a settlement. If you wait and can show without a doubt that the other party is completely at fault, then your attorney will have more leverage to seek a higher payout for you.
Your health and wellness is what's most important, so focus on that and allow your attorney to negotiate with the insurance company. Once the other driver's BAC report is in, your attorney will have leverage for your claim.