Was Drunk Driving at the Center of an Arvada Pile-Up?

Drunk driving is dangerous for everyone, but can breathalyzers help?

Drunk driving is dangerous for everyone, but can breathalyzers help?Only a few weeks ago, we were writing about a new program from CDOT meant to fight drunk driving. The program, which would put pocket breathalyzers in the hands of DUI offenders, seems to be an innovative solution, but a solution that has comes too late for many motorcycle riders here in Colorado. In recent days, we have been reminded of how big a problem drunk driving can be in our state, and as a community there is more we can do to help fight this epidemic.

The Arvada Pile-Up: A Drunk Driving Tragedy

On Sunday September 10th, a Cadillac SUV was driving erratically on southbound Ward Road in Arvada. In this driver’s wake were concerned calls to police as witnesses alleged seeing the driver run a red light on to 64th street while laughing and drinking from a cup. Witnesses continued to monitor the vehicle, so when that driver later lost control of his SUV on Ward Road near West 61st Avenue, there were many to witness the carnage.

The SUV reportedly crossed into northbound lanes colliding with a Ford F150. The resulting crash started a chain reaction that swept seven vehicles into the devastation. Among the vehicles was a three-wheeled motorcycle ridden by an elderly couple in their seventies. This husband and wife did not survive the wreck. Another victim—59 years old—also succumbed to his injuries after the crash.

Witnesses say that the man driving the Cadillac exited his vehicle while appearing intoxicated. They claimed he confronted another driver before being rushed to the hospital. Several days later, the suspected drunk driver also perished from his injuries.

What Can You Do About Drunk Driving?

The people of Arvada did all that they could, reporting the drunk driver and monitoring him. However, four people still lost their lives as a result of suspected intoxicated driving. Now we must ask if there is anything we can do to prevent accidents like this from happening in the future.

Colorado has what are called “dram shop laws”. These laws hold businesses liable if they serve or sell alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. Filing a lawsuit against these types of establishments can motivate other businesses to improve their abilities to detect if a person buying alcohol is already intoxicated.

Drivers who are intoxicated are also liable for the damages they cause while inebriated. This allows private citizens to take these offenders to court, and these rights are not precluded by charges filed by the police. That means victims can still pursue justice, even if the alleged offender is charged with driving while intoxicated. These cases can serve as an extra deterrent against this reckless driving behavior, and they give power to victims to prevent future tragedies like this from occurring.

From the motorcycle accident attorneys at Metier Law Firm.

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