Travis Ackerman, a 29 year old Fort Collins man, was arrested on Wednesday evening in his home. Ackerman was arrested vehicular homicide DUI, vehicular homicide reckless driving, vehicular eluding and DUI. On November 18, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Fort Collins police received a call reporting a loud ATV driving up and down the street. Whe. an officer attempted to stop the ATV driver, the ATV driver, later identified as Ackerman, sped away. The ATV ultimately crashed, ejecting and killing the female passenger. Ackerman was injured and taken to the hospital.
Initial reports do not indicate a blood alcohol level for Ackerman, but in Colorado, to be charged with a DUI, his blood level had to have been greater than a 0.08. It is also possible to be charged with DUI if the driver refuses a chemical test, but in this case it is unlikely that police did not get a test because in vehicular homicide cases, police may require a blood draw even without the driver’s consent.
The reason for the delay in pressing charges was not given, but it could be for a few different reasons. Assuming there was a blood sample taken, the sample would have to be analyzed to determine Ackerman’s BAC. Determining his BAC controls whether there would be sufficient evidence to prove vehicular homicide DUI and the simple DUI charge. However, the police and prosecutors may charge a driver with DUI before blood testing is completed, so it is also possible that police were waiting for Ackerman to be released from the hospital.
Vehicular homicide DUI requires the prosecution to prove that Ackerman was driving under the influence and, as a result of that drunk driving, another person was killed. The prosecution need not prove that Ackerman intended to cause the death of his passenger. Similarly, for vehicular homicide reckless driving, the prosecution must prove that Ackerman was driving recklessly and, as a result, another person was killed. Both types of vehicular homicide are felonies. Depending on the circumstances, vehicular eluding may also be a felony. Finally, a simple DUI is an unclassified traffic misdemeanor.