A DUI can lead to first-degree murder

On behalf of Eric Anaya at Anaya-McKedy, P.C.

According to newscastic.com, a suspected DUI driver has been charged with murder. The man charged, a 40-year-old who is in this country illegally, was accused of running a red light at the intersection of East Colfax Avenue and Dayton Street late at night as he drove his large Ford Expedition into a Chevrolet Camaro being driven by a 17-year-old man. The young man did not survive the crash. The 40-year-old allegedly fled the scene of the accident and had a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit when he was apprehended. He had no valid Colorado driver's license and it was not his first DUI arrest. He was charged with first-degree murder.

Extreme Indifference In Causing The Death Of Another

Under Colorado law, a person is guilty of first-degree murder if he or she causes the death of another under circumstances which show an attitude of extreme indifference to the value of human life generally, and that person knowingly acts in such a way which creates a grave risk of death to another person. Murder in the first degree is a class 1 felony and there are only two sentences possible under Colorado law: death or imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole.

Other Possible Charges

There are other possible charges for causing the death of another while under the influence. First there is the crime of Vehicular Homicide (DUI), which is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or drugs, or a combination of both and as a result causing the death of another. "Under the influence" means the driver has taken alcohol or drugs to the extent that the person is not capable of "exercising clear judgment," or due care in the operation of the vehicle. Vehicular Homicide is a class 3 felony and conviction can result in imprisonment for four to 12 years and a fine up to $750,000.

The third possible charge is that of Vehicular Homicide [Reckless]. Any person who recklessly operates a motor vehicle and that recklessness is the proximate cause of the death of another person, may be found guilty of Vehicular Homicide [Reckless], which is a class 4 felony, punishable by two to six years' imprisonment and a fine of $2,000 to $500,000.

Driving while intoxicated and causing an accident can lead to a number of other charges. But obviously when that accident results in the death of another person, the possible punishment can be severe and anyone who finds themselves in such a situation should immediately consult with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney.