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Although DUIs are usually assumed to refer specifically to driving while under the influence of alcohol, in Colorado, the terms DUI, driving under the influence and DWAI, driving while ability impaired, are both also used to refer to individuals who drive under the influence of other drugs. The determination of the level of impairment of each driver is often determined subjectively but in general, field sobriety tests are applied in the same way as they would be with drivers who consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. In many instances proving how impaired a driver under the influence of drugs is at the time of an accident cannot be adequately determined by blood tests alone. This fact is why field sobriety tests are still commonly used even though BAC testing has become simple and highly effective.
In Colorado, the same sentencing structure applies to individuals driving while under the influence of drugs as would be expected with a DUI drunk driver. The level of an individual’s impairment and ability to make sound decisions and drive safely, or lack thereof, is often the basis of determining just punishments for driving while influenced by drugs. DWAI, a lesser form of drunk driving, is also applied in a similar way as it would be with alcohol related cases. DWAI carries lesser sentences but can also be applied to cases which a charge of DUI is not justified, but criminal punishment seems appropriate.
As with drunk driving, driving while under the influence of or while taking drugs puts a driver and all other individuals on the road in danger. Drug related accidents make up a percentage of all DUI accidents each year and these crashes are entirely preventable. The use of drugs prior to and leading up to an accident often impairs a driver as much as or more than alcohol could.
Being involved in an accident with a driver who was taking or was under the influence of drugs almost always means that the impaired driver will be found to be at fault. These crashes can and often do result in significant injury and possible death. If you have been injured in a drug related crash in Colorado, compensation may be available to you. Fuller law has handled hundreds of personal injury cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Fuller Law today for more information on your legal options and to receive your free initial consultation.