Driving after drinking is a pretty bad idea. I have watched people (a lot of whom are pretty nice people actually) suffer embarassment, expense and inconvenience as a result of a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest and conviction. Let me share what I have learned about decades in DUI courtrooms and DMV hearing rooms.

The system wants to take your drivers license at DMV, early, long before a court case finishes

From the very beginning in a DUI case, from the time you are stopped, the system is working to take your driver’s license. The legislators who write DUI laws, the police that enforce them and the hearing officers and judges that apply them take this stance: It is not enough to take someone to court for drunk driving. Courts give people breaks, and then people who have gotten breaks take a drink, they jump in their cars, and have bad accidents and kill innocent people. But take those people’s driver’s licenses, and you may save a few lives.

Our DUI laws now work so that the DMV takes the driver’s license of an accused drunk driver long before courts even look at a drunk driving case. Look at it this way:

A high blood-alcohol content result = minimum thirty days in jail

Legislators, police and judges believe that many of those charged with DUI will return to drinking quickly after arrest (yes, even while waiting for their cases to be processed in court). Therefore, the solution that the legislators, police and prosecutors arrived at was to create a system designed at taking driver’s licenses away administratively (at DMV) as soon as possible after a DUI arrest.

We now have DMV hearings weeks before people go to court for their cases. These DMV hearings are slanted toward denying licenses. By the way, a person who is charged with driving while under an “alcohol restraint” (an action taken by DMV against one’s license for refusing a chemical test, or taking one with a high blood-alcohol content result) faces a minimum of thirty days in jail for the crime of driving under suspension/alcohol testing refusal.

So, we now have a system where first the license gets taken, and then the DUI gets processed.

You should involve yourself in substance abuse counselling immediately after arrest

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation: You have been stopped for driving poorly, and a policeman decides that you have something intoxicating on your breath or maybe in your car. You are found to be technically not guilty, and a judge or prosecutor dismisses your charges on some obscure legal ground. Do you think that they are going to want to dump your case, only to read in the morning paper that you hit a van full of tourists a few weeks later? No, of course not. Prosecutors and judges have secure, cushy jobs, and they do not want to lose them for taking a risk on you.

The best thing you can do after an arrest is to enroll yourself in substance abuse counselling.

By attending substance abuse counseling, you create a trail of documentation that will give a  judge or prosecutor a boatload of confidence about turning you loose after court. I really don’t care if you are guilty or not guilty, whether you are technically not guilty with a .04 or not. No one is going to want to dismiss a case with a .04 for a defendant who shows up to court with a Jack Daniels T-shirt, looking/smelling like he just stepped off the party train. Instead, give the district attorney (DA) and/or judge some “paper” to put in their file that shows that you went for treatment, and in a substance abuse counsellor’s opinion, that you are sincere about your substance abuse therapy.

Shaun Kaufman has nearly 30 years experience in the Colorado criminal justice system

These are just two of the important lessons I have learned about the “DUI Business.”  In the decades I have spent in and around DUI courtrooms and DMV hearing rooms, and given
federal and state funding, it is truly a business for courts, police and prosecutors .

If you are charged with drinking & driving, or drugging & driving, contact Shaun Kaufman Law at: 303-309-0430

Colorado DUI and DWAI attorney Shaun Kaufman has tried and won DUI and DWAI cases, and he will only seek a plea bargain when you want it, and when it is the best option for your case. As part of Shaun Kaufman Law’s team approach, Shaun routinely consults with addiction counselors who can make the difference between jail and freedom — especially to repeat DUI clients.  Shaun Kaufman’s experience in treating addiction gives him credibility with prosecutors and judges at sentencing.

Shaun Kaufman Law: Compassionate Lawyer, Tough Litigator

Call 24/7, 365 days a year: 303-309-0430
Shaun Kaufman is ready to address your questions and fears, and provide peace of mind.