A local husband and wife from Fort Collins were out riding their motorcycle with another couple when tragedy found them. A car crossed the double yellow line, and they were unable to avoid the vehicle. Both rider and passenger succumbed to their injuries before they could be taken to a hospital. Now the driver in this collision is being sentenced, but the degree of that sentence might shock you.
Are Colorado Sentences Stiff Enough When It Comes to Motorcycle Fatalities?
After months of waiting, the woman driving the car in this crash was finally convicted of two misdemeanor counts of careless driving resulting in death. However, many who were following the case were not satisfied by the conviction. That’s because the driver was sentenced to one year in jail, half of which will be served on work release, and 240 hours of community service.
Considering that two lives were lost in this crash, many people are wondering if the punishment was perhaps too light for the crime. In Colorado, the maximum penalty this charge carries is up to 1 year in jail and $1000 fine. So, she received the maximum penalty, but at the time of the accident, marijuana paraphernalia was found at the crash site.
Later the driver would admit that the paraphernalia was hers, but the police didn’t test her for intoxicants at the time of the crash. In our state, a crash cannot compel a drug test, and since the driver appeared to be sober, the police had no reason to test her. This leaves some to speculate on whether this driver should have been charged with the Class 3 felony of vehicular homicide involving DUI. This charge would have carried a 4-12 year prison sentence with up to $750,000 in fines.
The resolution of this case has left us all with many questions. Do we need tougher penalties for causing traffic fatalities? Do we need to reexamine the criteria for drug testing? Would changes like these help motorcyclist? Only the future will give us these answers, and the motorcycling attorneys at the Metier Law Firm will be there to share those answers with you.