Law Enforcement Sacks 276 Impaired Drivers During Super Bowl Weekend

The Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol were among 76 law enforcement agencies that joined forces Feb. 5 through Feb. 8 for heightened DUI-enforcement period. Super Bowl weekend enforcement resulted in 276 impaired-driving arrests, an increase from the 234 arrests made in 2015. The Aurora and Colorado Springs police departments as well as the Colorado State Patrol recorded the highest arrest totals. “The Heat is On” is a campaign effort funded by the CDOT Highway Safety Office and runs throughout the year focusing on 12 specific periods for “high visibility for impaired driving.” The 12 periods are centered on holidays and public events. The next such event is scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day, which will run for a full week from March 11-18. If you have been arrested for impaired-driving, your privilege to drive and status as a law abiding citizen are in jeopardy. You need a skilled attorney to defend your rights in Court. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani specialize in DUI Defense. Our firm has 8 years of experience in DUI and Criminal Defense. Call our office today for a Free Consultation.

Cite: Natalie Munio, The Denver Post, 2/12/2016


NY Jets’ Sheldon Richardson arrested for fleeing cops at 143 mph

The Jets star defensive lineman was charged Thursday in Missouri for allegedly resisting arrest and a variety of traffic violations for a July 14 incident that involved him going 143 mph, trying to avoid police and eventually getting caught with a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his car, which smelled of marijuana, according to police. A 12-year-old and two other adult males were in the car. These charges are believed to all be misdemeanors and it does not appear that he will be charged with DUID.

This comes on the heels of a four-game suspension from the NFL for failing a test for marijuana. Only repeat offenders of the league’s drug policy draw a suspension, so this was not the first time he flunked a test.


College and DUI’s in Colorado

Dealing with a DUI in college

Drunk driving is becoming a common issue among college students,
and according to a recent survey carried out, 1 out of 5 college
students admitted to drunk driving, whereas 40% of them have confirmed
having ridden with a drunk driver. This is an alarmingly high rate of
drunk driving, and the situation gets worse when students reach the
legal driving age of 21 years.
Problems faced by students charged with DUI

If you find yourself facing a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge,
you need to get legal help immediately. This is important to avoid being
charged with heavy fines, spending time in jail and attending alcohol treatment
programs which can hamper not only your college life but also your future. One
of the major problems faced by students charged with drunk driving is to get legal
help, and hiring an attorney. DUI attorneys can be extremely expensive, and most
students cannot afford them. This is when students can get help from the legal
services offered by their Community College.
Legal Services offered by Community College

If you are a student facing drunk driving charges, you might be able to get help
from your Community College. Most community colleges not only provide assistance
to their students on how to prevent a DUI charge, but they also help them deal with
DUI charges and may also offer DUI preventive programs along with alcohol and substance
abuse programs.

Some community colleges even help students who need legal support and they may arrange
the financial means to pay for a professional lawyer. Other community colleges even have
programs that provide their current students with free or reduced cost lawyers. No matter
what type of drunk driving charge the student may be facing, the Community College can provide
free access or a reduced cost service to their students to help them in their legal ramifications.
Alcohol Treatment and Abuse programs

Depending on the severity of the charges in a DUI case, the court can order the individual
guilty of drunk driving to attend an alcohol and substance abuse program. Community colleges
also help their students charged with DUI by offering approved DUI classes and they also increase
awareness among students of the dangers of alcohol abuse. These programs and classes teach their
participants facts about alcohol use and abuse and help their struggling students to overcome their
Other Prevention Efforts

Community Colleges also take other measures to prevent alcohol abuse in college, to avoid students
getting involved in a DUI charge. The Warren County Community College in Washington provides their
students to attend “Save a Life Tour” which gives the students an opportunity to drive in a drunk
driving simulator. The purpose of the entire simulation is to demonstrate to the students how drunk
driving impairs proper motor functioning. Innovative educational programs like these offered by Community
Colleges allow students to make safer and smarter choices while they drive.

Remember that as a college student charged with drunk driving, you need to take the charges seriously,
as ignoring to do so can lead to the suspension of your drivers license and it can also affect your
ability to obtain student loans, apply to other colleges and universities for higher education and find
a proper job after you get out of college.

Colorado Felony DUI Bill enacted

After a long legislative battle, the Felony DUI bill (HB15-1043) passed.  Colorado just one of five states without a felony DUI law.


In the end, the bill that passed was significantly scaled back from the original draft. The new statute will create a class 4 felony AFTER three or more prior convictions for DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se, DUID, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault, arising out of separate distinct criminal episodes.


The bill changes the penalty for aggravated driving with a revoked license from a class 6 felony to a class 1 misdemeanor but requires a sentencing court to ensure that an offender spends a minimum of 60 days in a county jail.


In addition, the bill requires that if the court sentences the defendant to the DOC for a felony DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI offense, it must determine that incarceration is the most suitable option given the facts and circumstances of the case, including the defendant’s willingness to participate in treatment. The court shall also consider whether all other reasonable and appropriate sanctions and responses to the violation that are available to the court have been exhausted and do not appear likely to be successful, or if there is an unacceptable risk to public safety.


The bill also allows for community corrections residential treatment as a condition of probation for a third alcohol related offense in seven years. It allows for interlock for a multiple DUI offender for at least two, and up to five, years, and also mandates interlock for offenders on parole after conviction of Felony DUI.   


As an organization and as individuals, we certainly do not want to minimize the impact or seriousness of impaired driving; however, research does not support the creation of a felony crime for the purpose of decreasing drunk-driving incidents. Rates of drunk-driving are no lower in states that have felony DUI laws and, while prison can “protect” society by keeping someone locked up and unable to cause harm, the prison system does little to rehabilitate the offender or make them less likely to re-offend. In fact, the incarceration time could make an addict more likely to re-offend by destabilizing his or her life in such a powerful way; loss of social connections; loss of employment; and the added stress of being a felon. Evidence supports increased early interventions, including DUI courts, to decrease rates of drunk driving accidents. Unfortunately, these facts did not sway the politicians, who were convinced by public sentiment.


234 DUI Arrests in Colorado over Superbowl weekend

CDOT reported 234 DUI arrests between 6 p.m. Jan. 30 and 3 a.m. Monday, which is the official Super Bowl enforcement period. It is one of 12 periods each year during which Colorado law enforcement agencies crack down on DUIs with increased patrols and additional checkpoints. Police officers set up checkpoints and patrol enforcement locations at main intersections and at and around bars in Colorado. The next major enforcement date will probably be St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Be safe, do not drive buzzed. 

“2 Drunk 2 Care” Tweet Precedes Fatal DUI

A young woman (self proclaimed the Pothead Princess) gave a tearful apology to the two fatality victims’ families yesterday. What makes this case interesting is the use of social media in the prosecutions case. Prior to getting into her vehicle on that fateful evening, Kayla Mendoza allegedly tweeted “2 Drunk 2 Care”. Within a few short minutes of that text, Ms. Mendoza’s vehicles was traveling the wrong way down the highway and collided head-on with another vehicle killing both occupants. Both when I did prosecutorial work and now as a defense attorney I routinely use social media as a tool to gain additional insight into a case. Did the defendant self incriminate online? Or did the alleged victim brag about lying to police or friends? I have seen both defendants and victims incriminate themselves on social media not realizing who has access to that information. The important takeaway- Social media can and may be used against you!


Source: NY Daily News Doyle Murphy

Drunk Nebraska teen crash-lands pickup truck upside down on football field’s 18-yard line

A Nebraska teen drove his pickup truck over an embankment before crash-landing upside down on a local high school football field’s 18-yard line, police said. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the 16-year-old was drunk driving. The teen escaped with minor injuries following the horror smash on South High’s Collins Field stadium in Omaha at 3 a.m. Sunday.

The school was working to clean up the field from the damage caused by the accident, however, a better approach may be to the wreckage of such an accident on or around school grounds as a reminder of seriousness of drunk driving.

Heightened Colorado Drunk Driving Enforcement

The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol, along with local police departments across the state, say they will be on heightened alert for drivers under the influence through Monday. Typically Halloween can be just as big as St. Patrick’s Day for DUI arrests in Colorado. Last year’s Halloween enforcement resulted in 427 DUI arrests. The most were reported in the Front Range, specifically Aurora, Denver and Colorado Springs.

Be careful this time of year and use a cab service if you are drinking. Cabs are not cheap, but a Colorado DUI can cost you upwards of $10,000 after court costs, fines, lawyer fees, increased insurance premiums etc.

If you have a Colorado DUI, contact Denver DUI Defense Lawyer Steven J. Pisani at 303.635.6768 for a free consultation.

Denver to enforce drunk biking, DUI laws

We all know the dangers of drunk driving. These dangers are the same for operating any mechanical device while under the influence. However, sometimes people decide to ride their bikes after drinking. While this might seem like a better alternative to driving, it can still result in an accident or a legal headache. Until last month, the Denver Police Department has not been strictly enforcing a law on drunk biking. There can often be accusations of drunk driving or biking that are unfair and lack evidence.

Now, after an arrest of a scooter driver who was hit by a biker, both accused of being drunk, the department says they will more strictly enforce the drunk biking laws that are already in place. Only the man on the scooter in this case was charged with drunk driving. Although charges for drunk biking don’t seem like they could affect a person’s driver’s license, they might lead to consequences regarding a person’s ability to drive a car.

Charges related to drunk biking might cause a person’s reputation to be damaged. Many times these charges turn into new stories because they are more uncommon than charges for drunk driving a car. People who are arrested should understand their rights. No matter what charges a person might be facing, they have rights that should be protected.

Protecting the rights of the accused allows people to receive a fair trial and defend their reputation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help people in Colorado build a rigorous defense against drunk biking charges and other accusations.

Source: CBS Denver, “DPD Changes Gears, Will Now Enforce Drunk Biking Policy,” Nov. 22, 2012

-Our law firm handles Colorado criminal defense cases. To learn more about drunk driving or biking charges, please visit our website.

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