The "No Driving Defense" in Colorado DUI Cases

You are not guilty of Colorado drunk driving unless you drove

It may seem obvious, but you can't be convicted of driving drunk or stoned in Colorado if you didn't actually drive.

Most of the time, this isn't an issue. The police see you driving erratically or committing a traffic violation and they pull you over.

But what if they find you standing or sitting outside a vehicle at an accident scene? Or what if you were just sitting in your car with the motor running, but the car wasn't moving?

If you have been charged with a Colorado DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, UDD, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide, the burden is on the prosecutor to prove that you drove. When the police didn't actually see you drive, a skilled Colorado DUI defense lawyer may be able to argue that:

  • Someone else drove the vehicle.
  • You were just taking a nap in your car.
  • You had the engine on to warm up (not to drive).
  • You were sitting in your car because you had just argued with someone.
  • You were waiting to sober up and no intention of driving.

How does the prosecutor prove I drove in Colorado if the police didn't see me?

Prosecutors have a number of tricks to get around the lack of a witness to your driving. A court will look at the “totality of the circumstances” to determine whether you had put the vehicle in motion, or you intended to.

Evidence that you operated a vehicle while under the influence may include a combination of:

  • Usual indicators of drunk or drugged driving, such as:
    • The smell of alcohol and/or marijuana on your breath or in your car;
    • Empty containers of alcohol in the car;
    • Drug paraphernalia in the car;
  • Your location – for instance, you were on the side of the road, but not parked, or you were at an odd angle in a bar's parking lot;
  • Your statements;
  • Statements of other witnesses (either passengers in the car or outside observers);
  • You were asleep with the engine running;
  • You were trying to put the keys into the ignition; or
  • Your car was involved in an accident and you were the only person at the scene.

Call us for help…

Our Colorado DUI attorneys know that there are lots of reasons to explain why you were in your car. We also know that the “no driving defense” probably isn't the only one available.

We care about finding out what really happened. We want to keep you from being labeled a drunk driver and keep you out of jail. We want to help you keep your license.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, UDD, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide in Colorado, we invite you to contact us. We offer free consultations by phone or in our convenient Denver office.

Contact us today and discover why we are considered among the best DUI lawyers in Colorado.

You can reach us confidentially using the form on this page, or at our Denver home office:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
4047 Tejon Street
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 222-0330


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The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

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