In at least one Colorado town, drunk driving enforcement is taking a back seat to an even bigger threat — distracted driving. In Colorado Springs, police say that new data reveals that distracted driving has become the number one cause of both traffic accidents and fatal car crashes.
“That is something that really jumps out at you,” said Lt. David Edmondson with the Colorado Springs Police Department. “Number one, DUI’s been the leading cause for years and years and now all of a sudden you’ve got distracted driving, not paying attention to what’s going on on the road, surpassing DUI.”
Statewide, the legal limit for drunk driving is a blood alcohol content of 0.08% for drivers of legal drinking age. For drivers under the age of 21, the limit is just 0.02%. And in addition, drunk driving lawyers say that Colorado drivers should remember that driving with a BAC of 0.05% or higher is also against the law. If caught, you can be charged with a DWAI, or driving while ability impaired.
Although many drunk drivers will get busted for driving while just barely over the BAC limit, it’s important to remember that a small but dangerous minority of drivers will get behind the wheel while heavily intoxicated. And according to drunk driving lawyers, most fatal drunk driving-related crashes involve those drivers with BAC limits far above the legal limit.
In Colorado Springs, there were more than 10,200 crashes last year, and 19% were caused by distracted drivers. The CSPD received a grant from the state to help with their initiative to stop distracted drivers, and so far they believe it’s working. To date in 2015, the city has seen no fatal car crashes caused by distracted driving, and a reduction in injuries, too. But sadly, with tablets, in-car computer systems, GPS devices, and the constant distractions of smartphones, many drivers still take unnecessary risks behind the wheel, especially teenagers.
More and more, Colorado traffic lawyers and criminal defense attorneys are representing clients who have been arrested or sued because they texted while driving. If trends continue, drunk driving lawyers may soon be taking on more texting drivers than those charged with DUIs. In either case, Colorado police are stepping up enforcement all over the state of distracted, drugged, and drunk driving.
And if they catch you texting while drinking and driving? You’ll likely need the best DUI lawyers in the state to get you out of that one.