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Lakewood Colorado Legal Blog

Drugged driving can be just as serious as drunk driving

Many Colorado drivers mistakenly believe that driving while under the influence of marijuana is less risky than driving under the influence of alcohol. However, marijuana use can cause impaired reaction times, judgement, and perception of time and distance. These impairments and others can cause drivers under the influence of marijuana to behave dangerously on roadways, and can cause drivers to receive driving under the influence (DUI) charges.

How is marijuana impairment detected?

Take immediate steps following a dog bite

If you're playing with a neighbor's puppy or engaging in a friendly game of tug-o-war with your best friend's dog, accidents may happen. What's a tiny nip between friends, right?

Well, that tiny nip -- whether it comes from your own favorite pooch or a neighbor's dog -- could turn into something serious. Here's what doctors at the Cleveland Clinic want you to know about every dog bite, no matter how minor:

Pedestrian killed after being hit by multiple cars

A 57-year-old man was killed in Lakewood in a tragic accident on Jan. 13. He was walking along the southbound side of Wadsworth Boulevard at the West Florida Avenue intersection when he was hit by more than one vehicle. He died at the scene.

At least some of the vehicles involved in the accident stayed on the scene. However, police haven't been able to determine which car first struck the man.

Avoiding the 'no zones' can help you avoid accidents with trucks

As a driver, you probably are often sharing the road with other types of vehicles, such as large commercial trucks. In 2016, almost 4,500 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, and 83 percent of the fatalities were not occupants of commercial vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). When you share the road, you can often avoid an accident with a commercial vehicle if you are familiar with the vehicles' blind spots and practice safe driving habits to avoid those blind spots.

What are the 'no zones'?

Fewer drunk driving arrests in Colorado aren't really progress

The number of drunk driving arrests made in Colorado during times of "increased enforcement" dropped significantly between 2017 and 2018 -- but law enforcement agencies within the state says there's no reason to celebrate.

Colorado's Department of Transportation says that 7,723 arrests for drunk and impaired driving were made during a total of 14 periods of high-level, high-visibility enforcement over the course of 2018. That's down from 10,350 arrests the previous year. But the difference probably isn't an indication that there are less drunk drivers on the state's roads.

How texting & driving hijacks control in three major ways

Everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous and at the same time practically everyone is guilty of doing so at one time or another. Since cellphones became mainstream, there have been countless news stories of horrific accidents caused by drivers who choose to get distracted by their phones and suffer the consequences as a result. Car accidents may occur for various reasons, but texting while driving is easily preventable.

The voice in your head that wants you to check or respond to a text message while driving can feel like it’s only getting louder and louder the more you ignore it. However, getting caught up in the texting and driving trap inhibits your response time to real situations happening outside your vehicle (e.g. pedestrians crossing in front of your vehicle, bicyclists, green lights, red lights, making your exit, braking for congested traffic, etc.)

How texting & driving hijacks control in three major ways

Everyone knows that texting while driving is dangerous and at the same time practically everyone is guilty of doing so at one time or another. Since cellphones became mainstream, there have been countless news stories of horrific accidents caused by drivers who choose to get distracted by their phones and suffer the consequences as a result. Car accidents may occur for various reasons, but texting while driving is easily preventable.

The voice in your head that wants you to check or respond to a text message while driving can feel like it's only getting louder and louder the more you ignore it. However, getting caught up in the texting and driving trap inhibits your response time to real situations happening outside your vehicle (e.g. pedestrians crossing in front of your vehicle, bicyclists, green lights, red lights, making your exit, braking for congested traffic, etc.)

Know how to handle a sobriety checkpoint in Colorado

You probably know that a police officer can normally only initiate a traffic stop when the officer witnesses a traffic violation, notices a vehicle defect that could affect its safety or observes a pattern of behavior that suggests the driver of a car may be impaired by drugs or alcohol.

However, sobriety checkpoints are specifically allowed under the guidelines used by the Colorado Department of Transportation so long as certain rules are observed. These include:

  • They must be publicized in advance
  • The checkpoint must not require drivers to stop in an unsafe area
  • Drivers must be given adequate notice that they are approaching one of the checkpoints
  • Officers must be uniformed and visible
  • The checkpoints must be minimally inconvenient
  • The process of choosing which vehicles to stop must be consistent and nondiscriminatory

A long drive calls for these safety tips

When it comes to your safety, there's a big difference between driving your car across town and hitting the highway for hundreds of miles. While an accident can happen at any time, a long drive calls for you to alter your approach to improve your safety.

Here are five things you should do to help avoid a crash:

  • Get enough sleep: If you aren't well rested when you leave home, you could become drowsy while driving. This increases the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Stay hydrated: Neglecting to do so will zap you of your energy, while also leading to common ailments, such as a headache and cramps.
  • Plan stops in advance: This gives you the opportunity to rest your mind and body, thus helping ensure that your energy level remains high.
  • Sit up straight in your seat: Slouching may feel good for a bit, but it eventually takes a toll on your body. Sitting up straight allows you to maintain your comfort over the long run.
  • Focus on the road: Even if there's a lot going on in your car, such as passengers that want to chat, you must focus on the road. Distracted driving is one of the top causes of highway accidents.

Reckless driving is a serious traffic violation: Know your rights

There is never a good time to see police lights in your rearview mirror. If you're pulled to the side of the road for a traffic violation, it's imperative to know your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect them.

Reckless driving is among the most serious type of traffic violation. With this, you're pulled over for willful disregard for safety.

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