How serious is drunk driving in Colorado?

In 2013, Denver County lost 40 lives in automotive accidents. Of those, 16 people died in drunk driving accidents.

It should be no surprise to anyone in Denver that drinking and driving is extremely dangerous. Yet, every year lives are lost at the hands of people who make the choice to do just that. Countless others suffer serious and sometimes even lifelong injuries.

Many stories show the reality

Take, for example, the 38-year-old cyclist who was struck head-on by a drunk driver on Lookout Mountain Road early one Friday evening in late August. The 20-year-old driver reportedly crossed a double yellow line and is believed to have been travelling at a high rate of speed according to Fox 31 Denver. The drunk driver now faces multiple criminal charges including felony homicide. In the meanwhile, the victim's friends and family mourn the death of their loved one.

In September 2014, a 17-year old girl and her friend were hit by a drunk driver who was also texting at the time of the crash. ABC 7 News Denver indicates that one of the girls died upon impact. One year later, the other girl is still unable to walk. The drunk driver was a man in his 50s who was recently sentenced to 28 years in prison.

A passenger in a Jeep died after becoming pinned under the vehicle. CBS Denver explains that the drunk driver hit a concrete support under a freeway. His blood alcohol content was measured to be 0.163 percent. The defendant could spend up to six years in prison for vehicular homicide and DUI.

Along a stretch of I-25 in Denver, a police officer returned to his vehicle after stopping a suspected drunk driver. While in his vehicle, he was hit by a second drunk driver who has since been charged with vehicular assault. As reported by ABC 7 News Denver, the accident ended up involving four cars and sent the officer to the hospital.

Statistics corroborate the stories

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records, 142 people died in drunk driving accidents in Colorado in 2013. El Paso County experienced the highest number of drunk driving deaths with 25.

Denver County was in second place with 16 such fatalities. These 16 deaths represent more than one-fourth of the 40 total vehicular fatalities in the county that year. It was a jump up from the nine deaths the prior year and the same as the 16 deaths in 2011.

An ongoing problem that needs help

Clearly, drunk driving is an ongoing problem in Colorado. People who must suffer due to these tragic accidents deserve help. Contacting an attorney after such a crash is recommended.