Earlier this year, a new DUI bill was introduced in the House by Representative Roberts and McKean. This bill would have created the new traffic offense of “Tandem DUI per se.” As introduced, HB19-1146 stated that “Tandem DUI per se means driving when a peace officer has evidence, based on the driver’s demeanor, behavior, and observable impairment, to believe that the driver had consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, that affected the driver to a degree that the driver was substantially incapable either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle, and that the driver had any measurable amount of a drug or controlled substance other than alcohol in his or her blood or oral fluid at the time of driving or within four hours after driving.”
This bill would have removed the element that the prosecution prove impairment for a conviction: instead proving the officer believed there was impairment, plus a showing of any amount of any drug in the blood would have been enough for a conviction. It is also a “per se” DUI with no per se level. And while the bill arbitrarily required testing to take place within 4 hours of driving, there is no requirement of proof of when the drug(s) was/were consumed.
Luckily, this bill was killed by the sponsor in committee shortly after it was introduced. Bill’s like these go to show the current political landscape of DUI in Colorado and the push towards a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to consuming drugs or alcohol and driving.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI in Colorado, please consider contacting us for a consultation to discuss how we can help.
This post was guest written by Nate Becker of Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C.