This past weekend, the Denver community was faced with a horrific, needless tragedy. A mother and her two young children were run over and killed by a drunk driver as they were crossing the street in Downtown Denver. The drunk driver did not even stop after the accident, and instead proceeded to drive home and try to hide his truck and evade responsibility.
On a quiet Friday night, this family, including the woman, her husband, and their two children took the Light Rail train into downtown Denver for a pastry and some hot chocolate. They were crossing the street in a crosswalk with a walk signal, when out of the blue, the drunk driver and with a drunk passenger can speeding down the street and collided with them. The mother and two children died, and the father was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
The drunk driver and his passenger have both been arrested for causing this tragedy and are facing criminal charges. But what about the husband and father who lost his whole family? This was a needless and preventable tragedy.
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of auto accidents in the United States. In Colorado alone, 249 people died in 2004 as a result of drinking and driving according to the state’s Department of Transportation. While Colorado has lowered the blood alcohol level from .1 to .08 in an effort to decrease the incidents of drunk driving collisions, there is still more to be done. Under current Colorado law, the bar, liquor store, or other entity that knowingly serves a visibly intoxicated person only bears minimal responsibility for any tragedy that might result in their negligent, reckless conduct. Because of this limited liability, many such establishments fail to train or supervise their employees properly in recognizing and managing intoxicated customers. At the least, many establishments may just kick the individuals out onto the street, to drive drunk and potentially cause catastrophic harm to innocent bystanders.
The Colorado chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is actively trying to prevent drunk driving and the horrific accidents that can arise from drunk driving. For more information about their activities and how you can get involved with MADD or find out about these efforts, please contact us at Bachus & Schanker, LLC.