The Vail Daily recently published an article on DUIs in October and used a case study from a tragic alcohol-related death in Breckenridge. The problem is that the article’s “lead” is confusing and simply wrong. There was not a jump in DUIs in October this year as is suggested in the article. The number of fatalities from Colorado DUIs actually dropped dramatically from October 2012 to this year.
However, despite the misleading introduction, the article raises some important points about DUIs in Aspen and Vail. First, there is a culture of partying and pushing the envelope in all aspects of life, including drinking and driving, in resort communities. The DA for 5th JD, Bruce Brown, disclosed that there were 1,250 alcohol-related driving offenses in the counties of Eagle (Vail), Summit (Breckenridge), Lake (Leadville), and Clear Creek (Georgetown).
Second, DUIs are expensive. The article states that fines could reach up to $10,270. While I have yet to see a fine that high, there is no doubt that a DUI will be more than a cab ride home. In addition to fines, the Colorado DMV requires a person install an Interlock device on their vehicle in most circumstances following an arrest for DUI. Typically those devices cost approximately $75/month.
Finally, one mistake can change everything. As the defendant featured in the article, Maverick Bain, said at his sentencing, “No one ever thinks this [killing your friend from a DUI] can happen to them.” Now Bain has 4 years in prison to think about how and what he did.