Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers

Drunk driving in Colorado is a serious crime. You can lose your license, be fined and jailed, or serve required public service and probation. Those are the penalties for a criminal offense. There are also administrative penalties that put points on your driving record. Drunk drivers convicted in criminal court can also be sued by victims in civil court for causing personal injury.

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What is drunk driving in Colorado?

The intoxication levels do not differ much between being “buzzed” or drunk. Both states of mind mean that a person consumes alcohol to the point that their mental faculties become impaired. Getting in a motor vehicle and driving after drinking alcohol constitutes driving under the influence or DUI. Ingesting drugs and driving is a drugged driving DUI. Colorado takes DUI drivers seriously by imposing strict penalties for first-time and repeat offenders. 

Driving while intoxicated can be proven by blood-alcohol levels.

  • A DUI is when a person has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. That is the legal limit set forth by Colorado laws. However, if a person is found to have a BAC between .05 and .08, the law states it is a chargeable offense of driving while ability impaired or DWAI.
  • Drivers under the age of 21 found to have a BAC between .02 and .05 can be charged with underage driving and drinking or UDD
  • Motorists driving a commercial vehicle found to have a BAC of .04 are charged with a DUI
  • And any motorist in Colorado found to have a BAC of .17 or higher is not only charged with a DUI but also labeled a persistent drunk driver or PDD, even if a first-time offender

How many drinks does it take to reach a .08 BAC?

Colorado DUI law states an alcoholic drink is considered to be:

  • 1.5 ounces of hard liquor
  • One 12-ounce glass of beer
  • One 5-ounce glass of wine

On average, it takes two drinks for a 120-pound female to become drunk and four drinks for a 180-pound male. People react differently to alcohol; some become drunk with much less than a drink. You never know how much a person drank until they are tested with a breathalyzer after a crash caused by reckless DUI behavior. 

What are the statistics for drunk driving in Colorado?

Unfortunately, drunk driving statistics are rising in the state of Colorado. In 2022, 745 highway deaths involving drunk driving were the highest since 1981. There was also a 57% increase in impaired drivers cited from ten years earlier. 

Despite efforts by Colorado authorities to ramp up safety campaigns to bring awareness to the problem and prevent such occurrences from happening, the risk of highway accidents increases with more impaired drivers on the road.

When to call a drunk driving accident lawyer

Should you find yourself in an accident caused by a careless drunk driver, you’ll need the experience of a trusted car accident lawyer by your side. The question may arise; do I need a drunk driving accident lawyer?

You would want to hire an expert lawyer specializing in drunk driving cases if you have been severely injured. Perhaps even suffering a long-term physical injury that turns your life upside-down. 

Or you’ve been unable to return to work, lost income, and the bills are piling up. Your insurance may not cover all the damage costs. Often, insurance companies will lowball you on an initial settlement offer, but you might not be aware that an attorney can get you more than they offer. These reasons and more are the starting point on why you need a drunk driving accident lawyer.

Proving a drunk driving case in Colorado

The burden of proof is on the victim to demonstrate through collected evidence that caused the drunk driving accident. The person charged with a DUI is not required to prove anything. Therefore, the person filing the lawsuit (plaintiff) has the right to sue a person (defendant) for monetary compensation, including economic and non-economic damages.

The evidence surrounding the car accident must be gathered and preserved. You don’t have to personally collect all this information as it can be pretty complex and challenging. Let us do it for you to relieve stress. We can gather the following facts:

  • Police reports will show if the accused was charged with a DUI and what the accident scene entails
  • BAC test results are criminal evidence and need to be presented in the case
  • Evidence from the prosecutor’s office comes from the criminal case tried in court. This type of evidence can greatly help a civil case when proving negligence in a drunk driving case.
  • A drunk driving conviction in a criminal court case will prevent an insurance company for the defendant from stating the charges were exaggerated or false because the conviction stands as fact

Why should you bring a drunk driving civil claim?

It’s the law to exercise your rights after a drunk driver wrongfully injured you. Bringing a civil claim can serve justice to those who were hurt and can be a way for you to recover a monetary settlement to ensure your family’s financial future. Don’t let a car accident wreck your life permanently when you can let us handle the case to your benefit.

How criminal DUI charges affect your claim

When a person is arrested on DUI charges in Colorado, they have a right to a trial in criminal court. The trial can last six months or more to reach a jury conclusion on whether the defendant is guilty. If the defendant goes this route, it can also deplete their money to fight the case. 

In turn, a person who wants to bring a claim against the defendant has to wait to file the civil case until the criminal case is finished. In doing so, the defendant may have less money to pay out due to fighting their criminal DUI case in court. 

Who can I sue for a drunk driving accident?

An attorney experienced in handling drunk driving accidents can advise you of all the factors of filing a personal injury lawsuit. Three elements of who can be sued are as follows: 

  1. The driver of the other car, or the accused, was charged with a DUI
  2. Insurance company of the other driver
  3. Over-serving establishments could be the bar or restaurant that over-served alcohol to the accused driver

Colorado dram shop laws

The meaning of dram comes from old-fashioned establishments that served patrons a “dram” of liquor. In modern times, Colorado adopted dram shop laws designed to hold establishments liable that serve too many alcoholic beverages to people who get drunk and cause harm to others.

Why choose our Denver drunk driving accident lawyers?

A Colorado drunk driving accident lawyer working on his laptop at his desk. Next to him is a stack of books, a Lady Justice statue and a gavel.

Choose Bachus & Schanker because we have decades of experience and knowledge in fighting and winning drunk driving accident cases. We have won over $1 billion in damages for our clients. We can win for you. Our team stands ready to fight for your legal rights.

Our team of Denver drunk driving lawyers — no fees unless you win will represent you with no money down. Our incentive is to win your personal injury case to help you recover from a devastating drunk driving accident.

Additionally, we provide drunk driving victim assistance. Colorado is one of four states that provide resources to victims of traffic crimes. When you are a victim and meet the criteria, you are entitled to extra compensation of up to $30,000. Ask us how this program works when you call 303-222-2222.

You can schedule a visit to our Denver office if you prefer. We established our first office in downtown Denver in 1996. We are unique in that we also have initiated a group of professionals known as Victim Advocates to help people after a catastrophic injury. Not all firms offer this kind of personalized attention, but our Elite Litigation Group provides this assistance. We look forward to helping you seek justice for the harm you have suffered at the hands of a drunk driver.


Colorado Drunk Driving Laws.

CRS 42-4-1300.

Perry, J. (2023). Colorado had a record number of traffic deaths in 2022. 37% of fatal crashes involved impaired driving.

University of Colorado Boulder. Colorado DUI Law.

Visit our Denver Office

Denver Law Firm

950 17th Street, Suite 1050

Denver, CO 80202

Fax: 303-893-9900

“Justin Mosery took our case and made it a great experience. Him and his team were great and made it quick.”

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My family and I were hit by a drunk driver and we called Bachus & Schanker. Justin Mosery took our case and made it a great experience. Him and his team were great and made it quick. Would definitely recommend this firm.
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“I had a settlement check worth 4 times the amount the insurance company initially offered me.”

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I was hit by a drunk driver in 2015. I had significant damage to my vehicle and my spine. I was in treatment for over a year and a half and when I was released, the insurance company did not want to pay off the rest of my medical bills and offered me a small settlement. I called Bachus and Schanker and they “fast tracked” my case. I had a settlement check worth 4 times the amount the insurance company initially offered me.
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“They went to bat for us and handle our case.”

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Bachus and Schanker sent someone out to our house when we were hit by a drunk driver because we were too injuried to seek help and leave the house. We didn’t know what Dr to go to and they set us up with a Dr and rehabilitation clinic. They went to bat for us and handle our case
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Written and Legally Reviewed By: Kyle Bachus

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Kyle is a member of the Colorado and Florida Bar associations and has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for more than twenty years in total. Over the years, Kyle has achieved justice for many clients. He has served on numerous committees and repeatedly won recognition from his peers at both the state and national level. He is proud of the role he has played in the passage of state and national legislation to protect consumers and is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer.