Ex-Boulder police officer, Elizabeth Ward, pled guilty to DUI with a blood alcohol content of 0.20 or greater. The former officer was sentenced to 10 days of electronic home monitoring, community service and one year of probation. At the time of the arrest, Ms. Ward was employed by the Boulder Police Department and was responsible for DUI enforcement. Since this incident, Ms. Ward resigned her position.
In Colorado, driving with a BAC of 0.20 or more is a sentence enhancer under the DUI statutes. This means that, not only does the BAC exceed the legal limit, but also that the driver is subject to a more severe sentence. If a person is convicted of DUI with a BAC of 0.20 or more, there is a minimum mandatory 10 days county jail that must be imposed by the judge. This 10 days can, however, be served on in home detention or electronic home monitoring.
While this former officer’s BAC was well over a 0.20, she may have had an argument to receive a reduced charge as part of a plea bargain had her BAC been just over the 0.20 level. For example, if Ms. Ward submitted to a breath test, the Intoxilyzer machines used by most law enforcement agencies are not 100% accurate. These machines have a margin of error. Because of this margin of error, an argument could be made that the BAC level was not over a 0.20. In addition, the Intoxilyzer machines do always work properly. There are documents that can be obtained regarding the functioning of the machine that show any malfunctions that may have effected the accuracy of the test results.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI and your test results come back at a level that seems too high, it may be that the test result is inaccurate. It is important to obtain and review all of the information related to the testing procedure and equipment to ensure that your test was completed appropriately.