How Does a Prosecutor Prove That I Am Guilty of a DUI Causing Injury

If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of a DUI causing injury then you could be facing harsh penalties. However, in order to be convicted of a DUI causing injury, the prosecutor must prove that you did, indeed, cause injury as a result of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

How does a prosecutor prove that I am guilty of a DUI causing injury?

To be convicted of a DUI causing injury, two elements must be shown:

  1. That you were operating a motor vehicle and were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs; and
  2. That your conduct is the proximate cause of bodily injury to another.

In Colorado, the prosecutor must simply show that being impaired by alcohol or drugs was the proximate cause of the injury, and is therefore sufficient enough to establish the crime of DUI causing injury.

To be considered “under the influence” it must be shown that you consumed alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs, and that these substances affected you to the degree that you were substantially incapable—mentally or physically—of exercising clear judgement, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.

Drugs refer to both medical and non-medical substances, and can include anything that may have had an effect on you as a driver from over-the-counter medications to marijuana.

In regards to your alcohol levels, if your BAC was lower than 0.05%, then it is presumed that you were not impaired by alcohol. If your BAC was between 0.05% and 0.08% then this fact will need to be considered alongside other evidence to determine whether or not you are considered to have been under the influence. However, if your BAC is 0.08% or higher, there is a presumption that you were under the influence.

What penalties might I face if convicted of a DUI causing injury?

In Colorado, a DUI causing injury is a class 4 felony. Penalties can vary as a result of many factors, including the whether you have other DUI, or DUI related, charges and whether or not you have a criminal history. The penalties for a DUI causing injury can include:

  • From 2 to 4 years in prison with a mandatory minimum parole period of 3 years
  • A fine of up to $500,000
  • Revocation of your Colorado driver’s license
  • Restitution payments to the injury victim

If the injured party dies as a result of their injuries, then you could be facing a DUI Vehicular Homicide charge instead. To be convicted of a DUI Vehicular Homicide, two elements must be shown:

  1. That you were operating a motor vehicle and were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs; and
  2. That your conduct is the proximate cause of death.

Again, the exact penalties may vary according to your past DUI, or DUI related, charges as well as your criminal history.

If you’ve been arrested with a DUI causing injury, or are facing a DUI Vehicular Homicide charge, then contacting an experienced DUI lawyer is imperative in building a successful defense. A lawyer will expertly build a case that will help protect you against the heavy hand of the law.