Colorado is notoriously fierce with its drunk driving laws. Even a first-time conviction can easily lead to a long license suspension and an ignition interlock device on your car. However, one Colorado teen is facing even more serious charges following what police believe is an alcohol-related wreck.
The 18-year-old resident of Carbondale was driving with four passengers in his 2015 Mercedes C-300 when he lost control of the vehicle and rolled it over around 11:45 on May 3. Two teenagers in the car were ejected during the wreck, and one — a junior at a local high school — died. The other teen who was ejected suffered serious injuries and was transported to a Glenwood Springs hospital. The teenage driver and his other two passengers were also injured, but their injuries were deemed minor.
Ultimately, the young driver now faces felony charges. Aside from the DUI charge (driving under the influence), the teen is charged with two felonies: the vehicular assault of his badly injured friend and the vehicular homicide of his deceased friend. In addition, he is also charged with various misdemeanors, including third-degree assault for his other passengers’ injuries.
Vehicular homicide and vehicular assault charges are two of the unintentional consequences of a drunk driving accident that most people don’t consider when they get behind the wheel after drinking. Sometimes people who have been drinking weigh their risk of getting caught on a certain road at a certain time of night and think they can get home safely. They don’t think about the possibility that they could simply lose control of their own vehicle and end up killing one of their passengers.
It’s also important for young people in Colorado to realize that any alcohol in their system at the time of a car accident can lead to harsh charges. Colorado enforces a “zero tolerance” law for drivers under the age of 21 that makes it illegal for those people to be driving with any amount of alcohol in their system, period.
If you’ve been involved in a fatal car accident after having a drink or two, you may feel tremendously guilty about what happened. Just the same, it’s important to protect your rights and try to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.