When you get behind the wheel to drive in Colorado or elsewhere, you understand what you should do, meaning you must adhere to traffic laws at all times. Sadly, many people disregard such laws, such as those who operate motor vehicles with blood alcohol content levels of .08 or higher. Chances are that you’ll share the road with a drunk driver at some point.
It’s important to understand how alcohol commonly affects the human body. While you might make responsible choices to abstain from alcohol when you drive, you have no way of knowing which motorists in your vicinity might have consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. If a drunk driver hits you, an otherwise uneventful road trip may become a disastrous turn of events.
Lack of judgement and loss of muscle control
When a person’s blood alcohol content level is between .02 and .05, he or she has likely already experienced cognitive impairment and loss of muscle control. If you witness a driver who appears to be having trouble maintaining his or her lane position or difficulty making turns, intoxication might be the cause. This is because cognitive and muscle impairment lowers reaction time and also causes visual impairment and inability to apply logical reasoning skills.
Illegal operation of a motor vehicle
If you’re driving to work or the store or wherever, and another driver is veering across the yellow line or tailgating you, you have reason to suspect driver intoxication. By the time someone’s blood alcohol level reaches .08 or higher, Colorado law prohibits him or her from driving. At this stage of intoxication, a driver may be erratically applying brakes or the gas pedal.
He or she may also be driving too slowly or fast to align with traffic patterns. If you can distance yourself from a driver who is exhibiting these dangerous behaviors, it’s always best to do so. Drunk drivers whose vision and cognitive thinking skills are impaired, and who have lack of muscle coordination, are at great risk for causing a collision that results in serious injuries, even death.
When someone breaks the law and causes you injury
Drunk driving collisions often lead to criminal charges. This is because operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a blood content level of .08 or higher is a crime, not a traffic violation. Such collisions are easily preventable, which often intensifies grief for those who have a lost a loved one or suffered severe injuries because of a drunk driver.
If you survive a drunk driving collision, you may suffer damages beyond physical injury. It’s not uncommon for recovering accident victims to experience severe emotional trauma and financial distress as well. State law provides recourse in these situations by allowing a victim or immediate family member of a deceased victim to seek financial recovery for their losses in court.