Are there still DUI arrests during the COVID-19 pandemic? The simplest answer to that question is yes.
During the first few months of the pandemic, people were highly encouraged to stay indoors. Most businesses shut down, and a lot of companies shifted to a Work-From-Home setup to stay afloat. All these efforts were made to prevent people from catching the virus.
However, as months passed, a few COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in hopes of rebooting the economy. Nowadays, people can go back to working in their offices as long as they regularly get tested.
In line with that, as people get more adjusted to the “COVID-19 lifestyle” they seemed to no longer mind going outside to have a good time. As a matter of fact, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, alcohol consumption has significantly increased during the pandemic throughout the country. And in December 2020 alone, about 320 suspected drunk drivers got arrested.
Safety Measures During a DUI Arrest
It is specified under the Colorado express consent law that all drivers should submit to an evidentiary breath or blood test upon their arrest. However, some people—mostly law enforcement officers, question the safety of breathalyzer tests. Since studies showed that the virus can stay long on-air and breath tests require a person to breathe into a device, police officers are skeptical about performing them.
Because of this, the International Association of Chiefs of Police released an enhanced safety protocol for law officers during the initial screening of a DUI arrest. Here they are:
- Officers should maintain a six-foot distance while the alleged violator is taking the breath test.
- Although it isn’t strictly implemented, officers are encouraged to wear face shields and PPEs on top of masks during the breath test or limit close contact to less than five minutes.
- The examination should be done in an open space or a place with good ventilation.
- Officers should probe right away if the alleged violator has been feeling any symptoms of COVID-19, or if they’re living with a person who has symptoms. If the answer is yes, the officer should ask assistance from a healthcare provider and take the alleged suspect to the nearest healthcare facility if necessary.
- Officers should wash their hands or sanitize them with alcohol before and after every test.
Turn to Maher & Maher Law, PC
If you were arrested for DUI during COVID-19 in Colorado, act quickly and hire an experienced lawyer. At Maher & Maher Law, PC, we have two reputable DUI attorneys who can handle your case. Our law firm is open 24/7. Call us now for a free consultation.