A hit-and-run incident left a 21-year-old parking valet at Denver’s Rockstar Lounge dead after a pickup truck struck him late on a Saturday night, a dangerous time due to the potential for drunk drivers. Fortunately, a cabbie recently trained in the Taxis on Patrol program followed the truck and got a license number, leading to an arrest.
In Colorado, a driver who is involved in an auto accident is legally prohibited from leaving the scene if a personal injury or death was involved. The driver must stop the vehicle as soon as is safely possible, return to the scene of the crime and wait for police to arrive. Fleeing the scene of the accident is a crime that results in driver’s license revocation as well as a separate misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the level of harm caused by the fleeing driver.
Any driver should act responsibly in the immediate aftermath of an accident, but one troubling fact is that intoxicated drivers may feel like they can escape the additional consequences of a DUI conviction if they avoid apprehension long enough to sober up. Obviously, Colorado law should provide harsher consequences for drunk drivers who flee the scene of the accident in order to escape breathalyzer testing and other indicators of intoxication.
One other unacceptable consequence of DUI hit-and-run accidents is that the victims may not have legal recourse against negligent drunk drivers to hold them accountable for the damages they cause. Victims of drunk drivers and surviving family members may face huge financial burdens due to medical expenses, a destroyed vehicle and lost income due to serious or fatal injuries.
Justice for a criminal offender means being held accountable by society for criminal activity. Every bit as important, justice for a car crash victim means the right to seek compensation from a negligent driver who causes harm and untold heartache through his or her callous disregard for others’ safety.
DUI Accidents in Colorado: Personal Injury Lawyers Protect Victims of Drunk Drivers
A Denver drunk driving accident attorney can explore all potential avenues for recovering compensation in the aftermath of a DUI-related crash. Plaintiffs may be able to seek punitive damages from a driver who received a DUI/DWI conviction. Furthermore, under Colorado’s dram shop law, a bar, liquor store, restaurant or even a private party who serves a visibly intoxicated guest can be held liable for the damages caused by a drunk driver.