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Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer in Denver, CO

Driving under the influence has severe consequences for others on the road. Many drunk driving accidents result in death. The aftermath of an accident is harrowing and leaves many victims wondering what to do next.

For families of drunk driving victims, losing a loved one is more than they can bear. Families will also have the right to file a Denver drunk driving accident claim. A Denver drunk driving accident lawyer can advocate for your rights and get the compensation you need to move past this event.

The Varner Faddis Elite Legal Difference

If you’ve been in an accident with a drunk driver, you need to get answers quickly. Contact our Denver drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible to get access to your legal options. We’ll examine your case and work with you to ensure the best possible results. Our methods employ cutting-edge resources and a knowledgeable legal team to give our clients optimum attention and service.

While each claim is unique, we have generated substantial results for accident victims. One motor vehicle accident claim resulted in the victim receiving $550,000 and another in $415,000. We cannot guarantee your case a specific outcome without first investigating and evaluating your claim. However, the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work for you.

You have a limited time to file a drunk driving claim in Colorado. Contact Varner Faddis Elite Legal, LLC today to get started on your claim for compensation.

Table of Contents

Colorado drunk driving laws

In addition to a personal injury lawsuit, the driver can face legal ramifications for driving under the influence. Colorado can file a criminal charge against motorists for negligent actions resulting in your injury or your loved one’s passing. Whether the state decides to file criminal charges depends on what vehicle was in use, the age of the driver, and their level of intoxication. Examples of the ramifications that drunk drivers may face are:

  • Motorists under 21 with a BAC between 0.02 and 0.05 will face a charge of underage drinking and driving (UDD)
  • Motorists operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 will face a DUI charge.
  • All motorists who drive with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 will face a driving while ability impaired charge (DWAI)
  • Drivers will face a DUI charge with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher.
  • If a Denver driver has a BAC of 0.17 percent or higher, they will automatically be charged with a DUI and obtain the label of a persistent drunk driver (PDD). Even when it is the first offense, the police will process it as a repeat offense, and the driver will face more considerable penalties for other infractions.
  • A driver who uses marijuana and has a THC level over five nanograms will face driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Remember, this is a baseline, and drivers can face a DUI charge with any drugs in their system.

While these are the standard charges, charges will vary, and it will be up to the state to determine whether to proceed with a criminal charge. If the state files criminal charges, that can also help your injury claim. Remember, even if the driver gets convicted on a criminal charge, you can still obtain compensation for your injuries.

Dram shop and social hosts

In a Denver drunk driving accident, you assume the driver is the only negligent party for your injuries and losses. Colorado has dram shop laws; any party who provides alcohol to someone willfully and knowingly can also be responsible for a drunk driving accident. These are third-party liability claims and the claim you file against the negligent driver.

Dram shop laws apply in some instances, such as:

  • Alcohol has given to a person under the age of 21
  • The establishment gave alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person
  • A known drunkard received alcohol

Dram shop liability cases are incredibly complex, and not every law firm understands the intricacies behind these laws. You will get less compensation when you do not have the right Denver drunk driving accident lawyer handling your case.

Colorado takes dram shop laws further by adding the social host provision. Any adult who provides alcohol to a person underage will be accountable if an underage driver (under 21) causes a severe accident.

For example, imagine that a college student over 21 has a party, and someone under 21 attends the party. If the underage partygoer gets behind the wheel and causes a fatal accident, the college student who bought and served the alcohol will also be a liable party for the accident.

Drunk driving by the numbers

A drunk driver does not have the same ability to operate a motor vehicle as a sober driver.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reports these statistics for drunk driving accidents:

  • 196 motor vehicle deaths were the result of alcohol and drugs
  • Over 26,000 residents in Colorado face DUI charges each year
  • There have been over a thousand drunk driving deaths in Colorado over six years

Drunk driving accidents can occur during the day since alcohol is available. The majority of drunk driving crashes happen on nights and weekends. The reason these times are so prominent in these accidents is that is when most people are at social gatherings and are going to bars.

Types of impaired driving

There are different categories of impaired drivers in Colorado, and each classification can result in other repercussions for the driver. While the classifications can sound similar, they are not.

Driving under the influence (DUI) addresses alcohol, a depressant that causes the central nervous system to slow down. The brain function of the driver is also affected; a driver’s judgment, reaction time, coordination, and comprehension will all suffer. A driver with a BAC over 0.08 is considered impaired.


Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) is an uncommon term. DWAI is a lesser charge than a DUI as it requires a BAC level of 0.05 percent, meaning the person is less impaired but still unable to get behind the wheel. Typically motorists will have a lower sense of inhibition and alertness. The driver will have a hard time steering and reacting to emergencies.

Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is a newer term that aims to address drivers who consume Marijuana. Drugs affect a person’s memory, motor skills, judgment, and depth of perception. These specifications are necessary for Colorado because Marijuana is legal in the state. While the substance is legal, similarly to alcohol, you cannot drive while under the influence.

Identifying drunk drivers in Denver

There are obvious signs that a diver on the road is drunk or under the influence of a substance.

While on the road, you can look for these signs that a driver is driving while impaired:

  • Erratic speed changes
  • Not using turn signals
  • Failing to turn on headlights when it is warranted
  • Weaving in their lane
  • Swerving to avoid obstacles that do not exist
  • Near misses

While it is not your responsibility to avoid a drunk driving accident, it is crucial to know the signs. If you see a driver showing any of these signs, you should contact the local authorities but not participate in any reckless actions. Do not follow the driver; inform the operator of the location and vehicle description.

How to file a drunk driving claim

You must move fast to file a drunk driving accident claim in Denver. According to the statute of limitations in Colorado, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim and obtain compensation.

Even if you believe you do not have a claim, you must consult with a Denver drunk driving accident lawyer to find out what your legal options are. While there is a three-year statute to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver, there is also a one-year statute to file a claim under Dram Shop liability.

Dram shop claims are far more complex than a personal injury settlement, and you will need a Denver car accident attorney who knows the ins and outs of both types of claims. One caveat to remember in these cases is that a criminal case can delay the timeframe for a civil suit.

It is in the best interest of your civil case to wait for a criminal case to settle; the evidence in a criminal case can help your civil case. However, every incident is unique, and you must work with your Denver drunk driving accident attorneys to determine your best strategy.

Injuries from a drunk driving accident

Injuries from drunk driving accidents will vary in each collision. The result is always the same since these accidents result in severe injuries for victims.

Some of the worst injuries that victims suffer in these accidents are:

These injuries result in a mountain of medical treatment and bills. Recovery times will vary, but many victims will be in pain for months or years before they find relief. Additionally, victims with permanent injuries will have the entire course of their lives changed.

Compensation for drunk driving accidents

After an accident, you are eligible to file a claim and obtain compensation for your damages. The driver’s insurance company is unlikely to offer a fair settlement and will attempt to fight you at every turn. Having a Denver drunk driving accident lawyer on your side can thwart their efforts to undermine your claim. Your attorney will work to get you the payment you deserve for your current and future losses.

There are two kinds of compensation awards available to accident victims:

Economic damages are tangible items, like property damage and time off work. The severity of the injuries from the drunk driving accident will determine how extensive these damages are. Some examples are:

  • Lowered earning capacity
  • Medical expense
  • Emergency medical expense
  • Vehicle damage
  • Property damage
  • Lost wage
  • Lost benefits
  • Other accident-related expenses

Non-economic damages are unseen losses the person suffers and are harder to prove. When you have the right team, they can work to ensure you get all of the damages you are entitled to, such as:

  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress

These damages are available to victims of drunk driving accidents. However, if a loved one passes away from a drunk driving collision, the family is eligible to obtain wrongful death damages instead. The value of your Denver drunk driving claim will depend on the severity of your injuries, your losses, and your future prognosis.

Wrongful death

When a drunk driver is the cause of a fatal accident, the surviving family can file a claim against the driver. Dependents and spouses are the primary parties who can file a wrongful death claim. The family will file a civil suit to garner payment for the loss of the loved one. While there is no monetary value in your loved one’s life, the drunk driver must be held responsible for their actions.

Losing your loved one can result in a loss of finances entering the home and a loss of guidance and companionship. You will also have funeral and burial expenses and medical bills for the treatment they received resulting from the accident. While the court will try to convict the drunk driver of criminal negligence, that is not always the result. Even if the criminal case doesn’t show favorable results, the civil case can still move forward.

Speak With a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer at Varner Faddis Elite Legal, LLC

Lauren Varner - Personal Injury Lawyer near Denver area

Lauren Varner – Drunk Driving Accident Attorney in Denver

There are often underlying concerns when it comes to drunk driving cases, and you need a law firm that can look beyond the basic facts and find the underlying cause and liable parties for your accident.

A full investigation will take time, and you must focus on your recovery. Accident victims find it difficult to recover physically when they have the stress of finance and how they will pay for these necessary treatments.

Allow to handle the legal aspect of your claim so you can focus on what matters, which is recovering and returning to your daily life. When you suffer a permanent injury or impairment, you will need compensation.

After a drunk driving accident, trust in an innovative, results-driven law firm. Contact us today at 720-710-9073.

Varner Faddis Elite Legal – Centennial Office

6025 South Quebec St.
Suite 100
Centennial, CO 80111
Phone: 720-710-9073


All Charges-Found NOT GUILTY

“Eric took my case about a month before I had to go to trial. He showed up and showed out! His preparation for the case was phenomenal! He didn’t forget to study anything. He is the only lawyer I have ever met who actually cares about his clients, they are not just a paycheck to him. He will give you his all!

– Anonymous, Criminal Defense Client

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