Drunk drivers are responsible for thousands of fatal injuries every year with an even larger number of DUI accidents causing serious non-fatal injuries. Colorado suffers its fair share of alcohol-fueled crashes. If you see erratic driving or see a person getting in the driver’s seat after drinking, reporting them to the police may save a life. Detailed reports to law enforcement can help keep these individuals off the road. By keeping intoxicated drivers off the road, you reduce the chance of serious or fatal accidents.
If you or a family member was a victim of a drunk driving accident in Colorado, talk to our Denver drunk driving accident attorneys. We can help you and your family recover damages caused by an intoxicated driver. You can speak with our DUI crash lawyers for free by calling or completing the contact form below.
Colorado drunk driving statistics
Drunk driving accidents are extremely dangerous due to the severely impaired judgment of the drunk driver. Colorado roads experience a concerning number of deaths and injuries from DUI driving accidents. These collisions can occur in town in Denver and other cities as well as open highways across the state.
According to federal research, 1.9% of Colorado adults reported driving after drinking excessively in the past month and approximately 1 in 3 traffic accident fatalities involves a drunk driver.
Colorado Department of Transportation research indicates alarming information:
- 691 lives were lost in Colorado in 2021 in car accidents–an increase of 50% since 2011
- Since 2019 there has been a 44% increase in fatalities involving an impaired driver
- The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice reports over 26,000 impaired driving criminal cases each year
- Of those cases, 45% of intoxicated drivers tested positive for multiple substances
- 68% of individuals who drove intoxicated on THC also tested positive for another substance with alcohol leading as the co-occurring substance
- The report indicates drivers impaired due to alcohol and THC were more likely to speed, drive aggressively and text while driving
Signs of an impaired driver on Colorado roads
Unless you see a driver drinking, it is impossible to know for sure if an erratic or hostile driver is drunk or impaired. You may not want to file a police report on a driver who isn’t drunk. In these situations, it is better to be safe than sorry. An erratic driver may not be drunk, but could still be distracted driving which is also a risk to others. You could prevent injuries, property damage and death.
According to the Colorado State Patrol, there are some common signs of a drunk driver on our roadways. These signs include:
- Appearing drunk, such as eye fixation, face close to the windshield, drinking in the car
- Making turns with a wide radius
- Near misses with cars and objects
- Weaving, swerving and drifting across the street
- Driving significantly under the speed limit without reason
- Speeding excessively
- Braking erratically or stopping without cause
- Accelerating rapidly or peeling out from stop signs and light changes
- Tailgating other drivers
- Straddling the center of the lane or driving with the left tires on the center line
- Responding slowly to traffic lights and signals
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Driving the wrong way on one way streets
- Driving at night without headlights on
Drivers may perform these actions for other reasons, especially when they occur briefly. Drivers make mistakes without drinking. If a driver is consistently driving dangerously or performing several illegal driving acts, you should report the car to the local Police Department or Colorado State Patrol.
Reporting a drunk driver in Colorado
To report a drunk driver to Colorado authorities, you should always do so from a safe place to avoid risking injuries to yourself and others. You can dial 911 for emergency services. Additionally, the Colorado State Patrol operates special hotlines for dangerous drivers. You can dial *CSP (*277) to reach the state patrol or *DUI (*384) to reach their drunk driving hotline. When you report the impaired driver, make sure you give the dispatcher the following information:
- The location of the driver, including the road and direction traveling
- A description of the vehicle, including the color, make and model
- License plate number if you saw it
- Description of the dangerous driving behavior
Drunk driving is a serious problem that puts everyone on the road in danger. It is a leading cause of traffic accidents and fatalities in Colorado. If you suspect that someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, it is important to report it to the authorities immediately. Reporting a drunk driver can save lives and prevent accidents from happening.
Calling 911, *CSP, or *DUI
Whether you call 911, *CSP, or *DUI, you should provide as much information as you can and follow the operator’s instructions. It is important to provide the operator with all the information that you have noted down. The operator will ask you for your location and the location of the drunk driver. Be as specific as possible to help the authorities locate the driver quickly.
When you call to report a drunk driver, it is important to stay on the line until the authorities arrive. The operator may ask you for additional information, and it is important to provide as much detail as possible. This will help the authorities respond quickly and take appropriate action. The operator will provide you with instructions on what to do next. Follow their instructions carefully to ensure your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. The operator may ask you to stay on the line or pull over to a safe location until the authorities arrive.
It is important to remember that you should never try to stop the drunk driver yourself. This can be dangerous and put your life in danger. Leave the job of stopping the driver to the authorities. It is important to remember that confronting the drunk driver can be dangerous. They may become aggressive or violent, which could put your life in danger. Leave the job of confronting the driver to the authorities.
What to do if you are in an accident with a drunk driver?
If you are in an accident with a drunk driver, no matter how serious the property damage or injuries, you should absolutely call the police and report the accident. Even in a minor accident where both cars can safely leave without injuries, your report may prevent a second and more serious DUI accident.
After calling 911, take photos and videos at the scene and exchange license and insurance information with the driver if it is safe to do so. Afterwards, obtain medical care at a local hospital if you are injured. You may report an insurance claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Talk to a DUI accident attorney at Front Range Injury Attorneys before further discussions with the insurance company about your injury claims.
What happens if you know the intoxicated driver?
Sometimes you see somebody preparing to drive after drinking alcohol. It can be tough to report someone you know for drunk driving. If you cannot talk them out of driving before it happens, your options are limited. You can offer to call a taxi or rideshare to take the person home. You can take keys until the person sobers. If the person don’t cooperate and drives away, you should call and report the drunk driver. You could save lives, possibly even the driver’s life.
Talking somebody out of driving drunk is more than just preventing property damage and bodily injuries. Drunk drivers may face thousands of dollars in fines and costs even if they avoid a DUI conviction. Even an initial DUI conviction could result in jail time and fines. Of course, the harm to anybody involved in a drunk driving accident is a greater cost than fines or even jail time. There is simply no justification for letting somebody drive drunk in Colorado.