Denver makes a lot of top 10 lists, and why shouldn’t it? No matter where you look, it’s like looking at a postcard (except east – don’t look at the big flat pancake that is Nebraska), our crime is low, amazing weather, legal weed (they don’t call it the Mile-High City for nothing), we’ve got it all! We did just make a top 10 list, though, that is not so great. That list is the Top 10 Cities for Red-Light Runners.
Earlier this month we had National Stop on Red Week, which was created to promote awareness of red light accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated Denver the 10th most dangerous city when it comes to red light running. We suspect some of that danger comes from the number of people who bike in our city (because our city is definitely one of the top 10 biking cities in the country, according to a list we just made).
Red Light Running and Probable Cause
If you are driving impaired, even if you only had a drink or two, running a red light is a great way to give probable cause for a drunk driving arrest, so keep that in mind! Here are the elements of probable cause in DUI arrests as a refresher:
- The officer must have reasonable suspicion that a driver is engaged in criminal activity to initiate a traffic stop. Speeding, weaving into other lanes and vehicle equipment malfunctions (broken tail light is a common one) are all examples of valid reasons for a traffic stop.
- The police must have probable cause to request an alcohol test. The smell of alcohol on your breath is not in itself probable cause (see the Colorado Supreme Court case of People v. Roybal), but instead probable cause must be determined from the totality of circumstances.
- The alcohol test must comply with state regulations. Because the chemicals in question are in such small numbers, even a minor error could change the results drastically.
DUI Defense Matters – Denver Drunk Driving Lawyers