- Practice Areas
Kevin Churchill provides heavy-hitting defense for those charged with DUI, DWAI, and DUID for all areas of Jefferson County. He is committed to helping people accused of drunk driving in Jefferson County to get the best outcome possible in their case, including protecting them from unwarranted convictions and penalties. Being arrested for a DUI can be a scary experience, and it can have extensive negative consequences for you. Criminal penalties for a first-time DUI in Jefferson County can include jail time, a year or more of probation (and you cannot drink or use drugs while on probation), and fines. You will lose your driver’s license for a period of time, which makes it difficult to get to work, take your kids to school or activities, or to do the things you enjoy doing. A DUI arrest can also be financially costly – best estimates suggest that a DUI in Jeffco can cost an average of $13,000 or more. These costs can include court costs, treatment costs, probation fees, DMV fees, interlock device requirements, increased insurance premiums, and attorney fees. You may lose wages from missed work or losing your job, and a DUI conviction may make it difficult to get a new job. A DUI arrest can cause conflict with family and friends, and can be extremely stressful. It is therefore critically important that you get help from a DUI attorney who is familiar with the Jefferson County Court system as soon as possible, to minimize the negative effects on your life.
Most people do not know what they should do if they find themselves pulled over for a suspected DUI. When the officer comes to talk with you, it is important that you stay in your vehicle, and you should comply with the police officer’s request for your license and registration. However, you may choose not to speak, to give answers by nodding or shaking your head, or give very brief verbal answers. You do not need to answer other questions such as whether you have had anything to drink. The officer may ask you to take a hand-held breathalyzer test on site when you are pulled over. This breath test is not admissible in court, it is not required by law that you do it, and there is no penalty for not doing it. Therefore, it is typically recommended that you choose not to do this hand-held breath test. You may also be asked to do a field sobriety test when you are pulled over. This is a series of behavioral tests that are used to assess whether you are impaired from alcohol or drugs. You are also not required by law to do the field sobriety tests, and people can make mistakes because of factors other than intoxication. These mistakes can be used as evidence of your impairment, so it is often recommended that you choose not to do these field sobriety tests.
At some point in the traffic stop, an officer may decide that there is sufficient evidence of impairment to arrest you for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). At the time of arrest, you will be asked to do an evidentiary blood or breath test to measure alcohol or drugs in your system. While this test is also not required by law, if you refuse to do a blood alcohol test, you will automatically lose your driver’s license for one year. Also, your choice to not take the test can be used as evidence against you, should your case go to trial in Jefferson County Court. So, it is often best to choose to do one of these evidentiary tests. A breath test is only able to test for alcohol (your Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC), while a blood test can measure levels of alcohol as well as other drugs in your system.
If you choose to do the breath test, this will be done on a table-top Intoxilyzer machine at the police station or booking site. Many of the larger cities and towns in Jefferson County have their own table-top breath test machines at the local police stations, so your test would be done there. If they do not have an evidentiary breath test machine on site, in most cases you would instead be brought to the Jefferson County Jail in Golden to take the test. If you choose to do a blood test, in most cases, the police will call the local paramedics to the police station, and the blood draw will happen in the back of the ambulance by a certified phlebotomist. If you are injured and need to go to the hospital, the blood draw will be done there. See below for information on each police department in Jefferson County, including where blood and breath tests are done for that department.
Furthermore, it can be helpful if your attorney regularly handles cases in Jefferson County, because they will be familiar with the judges and the opposing attorneys handling your case.
Serving in the Jefferson County, CO Area
Your attorney can look for various errors that could have been made in the case against you, to fight charges that you were driving while impaired. Questions they might explore include:
Did the officer have probable cause to pull you over? If not, evidence obtained after that point may be suppressed.
Was there sufficient evidence of impairment to arrest you? An attorney will review all the evidence in your case, including the videos from the traffic stop and field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests must be administered in a standardized way to be valid evidence, and factors other than alcohol can affect performance on these tests.
Was there a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) on site at the time of your arrest? If the arresting officer was not a DRE, this could be a factor to evaluate in your case. There are cities and towns in Jefferson County that do not employ any DREs in their police departments.
Were there issues with the blood or breath tests that measured your BAC or drug levels?
All of these are factors that a skilled DUI attorney will examine to evaluate the DUI case against you. In some situations, your DUI case could be dismissed. In other situations, your attorney can use the evidence in your case to negotiate a plea-bargain or to help to reduce the penalties you get in court. Finally, you may choose to go to trial to fight the charges against you. A skilled DUI attorney will be able to evaluate all of the evidence in your case, negotiate your possible outcomes with the Jefferson County District Attorney assigned to your case, and advise you as to your options in a clear, no-nonsense way.
Attorney Kevin Churchill has been handling DUI cases in Colorado and Jefferson County for over 24 years. He knows how to develop the facts and evidence in these cases, in order to position his clients for the best possible outcomes. For more information about DUI, DWAI, and DUID charges in Jefferson County, and to discuss your case, please contact Attorney Kevin Churchill for a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located at 9101 Harlan Street, Suite 325, Westminster, CO 80031 (right by Costco). Please call us at (303) 832-9000.
Jefferson County, CO is one of the larger counties in the state, and it has the 4th highest number of DUI arrests in the state, after El Paso, Adams, and Larimer counties. In 2019, there were 2,306 DUI arrests in Jeffco. This is a rate of approximately 500 DUI arrests per 100,000 residents.
The Colorado First Judicial District is made up of Jefferson and Gilpin Counties. Cases are handled in their respective county courthouses. Jefferson County has over 10 times the number of total DUIs compared to Gilpin County. However, the rate of DUIs per person is much lower in Jeffco. Jefferson County has less than 20% of the DUI arrest rate per capita compared to neighboring Gilpin county.