Driving in the “Beer Me” State
Colorado is a state that takes its beer seriously. It is also, due to its elevation, a place where that same beer can go to your head faster than in many other places in the U.S. I’m sure it is a contributing factor in the state’s drunk driving statistics.
“But it’s only beer, it’s not as bad as if I were drinking liquor.”
One 12-ounce can of beer, one four-ounce glass of wine, and one mixed drink with 1 1/4 ounces of 80-proof liquor are all equally intoxicating. [Info via PBS’ “Just One Night — Myths About Drinking.”] This is certainly something to keep in mind if you wish to avoid DUI charges or alcohol-related car accidents.
Still, the temptation can be huge in “The Beer Me State.” Beer itself is an integral part of Colorado both culturally and economically — just take a look at the following infographic created by Spork Marketing of Denver:
There is a lot to be proud of in that data. The important part is to show that pride by drinking responsibly.
Another important aspect is the penalties faced if you do get caught. The DUI Consequences website lists the following penalties for first-time offenders according to Colorado law:
- Fines between $300 and $1,500
- Jail time between 5 days and 1 year, 10 days is average
- Community service requirement for 48 to 96 hours
- Possible alcohol education classes, at your cost
- Possible unsupervised probation for 1 to 2 years.
Subsequent arrests for Colorado DUI bring stricter consequences. Also, if you are a commercial driver or if you injure someone as a result of your drunk driving, you will face stricter consequences. Anyone with a BAC higher than .17% will also face more consequences.
You can also face a suspension of your license for three months in addition to the penalties listed above. And that is just for the first offense. Penalties escalate after your first offense.
Don’t become a statistic, enjoy your beer responsibly. Let’s help the CHP hit its goal of zero highway deaths in Colorado by 2025!