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Not all field sobriety tests are properly administered

Field sobriety tests are roadside assessments that Colorado law enforcement officers can use to look for evidence of intoxication in drivers. The tests usually involve three different evaluations that push the limits of drivers' balance, coordination, and focus. If a driver cannot complete the assessments then they may be arrested for drunk driving.

The single leg stand and walk and turn assessments test drivers' capacities to hold themselves still or walk in a straight line. Both of these tests can be affected by the natural surroundings of the location where they are administered; for example, a sober driver may struggle to hold their balance on one leg if the ground they are standing on is sloped. If a law enforcement officer does not properly administer them, they may get a false reading of intoxication.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a serious legal matter that affects too many American families each and every year. Readers of this Colorado legal blog may have experienced it in their own relationships or may know others who have suffered under the weight of domestic violence in their own lives. This post should not stand in as legal advice to any reader, and those who are suffering from domestic violence are encouraged to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

Domestic violence may be achieved through actual violence or the threat of violence. While some victims may suffer physical pain and assaults from their aggressors, others may be victimized by their aggressors' violent words, threats and nonphysical tactics. Domestic violence can occur between individuals in intimate relationships, those who have been in intimate relationships and members of households.

Should a party ask for spousal support during their divorce?

Although divorce is an emotional event in the life of a Colorado resident, it is also a major legal undertaking and may require significant financial planning in order to successfully execute. That is because the splitting of two married people results in the need for the parties to set up their own homes, provide for their own needs, and manage their own assets. If a party to a divorce is not financially equipped to take on these and other responsibilities, it may be very hard for them to move forward after ending their marriage.

Spousal support is the payment of money from one divorcing party to their ex. It is generally the case that a party with a job will pay support to a party without a job, but every divorce and spousal support case will advance on its own facts. A reader may want to consult with their own divorce attorney to learn more about whether spousal support should be addressed in their legal proceedings.

What assets are subject to property division in a divorce?

Some married couples in Colorado believe when it comes to property, "What's yours is mine, and what's mine is yours." However, if a couple decides to divorce, determining who gets what can be challenging and contentious. For the division of assets to be fair, it is important to first understand the difference between marital property and separate property.

In general, any assets that either spouse obtains while married are presumed to be marital property. This is true no matter which party's name is on the title to the property. Marital property will be equitably divided between the spouses, even if it doesn't result in an exact 50/50 split.

New law in Colorado makes certain drug crimes misdemeanors

Most people in Colorado would agree that certain drugs, like fentanyl, heroin and cocaine are dangerous. For this reason, these drugs are classified as Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, meaning that drug charges involving these substances are more serious than charges for other drugs. However, a new bill has been signed into law that would change the way these substances are treated when it comes to drug crimes.

In a move that is expected to save the state a significant amount of money, the governor recently signed a bill into law that essentially defelonizes certain controlled substances. Under the new law, a single-time possession of small amounts of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug will no longer be a felony under Colorado law. Instead, this crime will be considered a misdemeanor. It is important to note, however, that drug trafficking or distribution are still felony crimes.

Tips for drafting a solid prenup in Colorado

Couples who are engaged to be wed may be wrapped up in planning their big day. However, they may not have given much thought to what their married life will look like. After all, if spouses are not on the same page about things like finances, it could cause trouble down the road. Some married couples find that their disagreements on important life issues become too great, and they are best off divorcing.

There is a way, however, that soon-to-be-wed couples can protect themselves in the event of a divorce. They can execute a prenuptial agreement to address many of the financial aspects of their marriage, as well as detail what happens to the couple's property and debts in the event of a divorce.

Colorado Supreme Court issues ruling on drug-sniffing dogs

Under both federal law and Colorado law, a person has rights against unlawful searches and seizures. However, as one recent case shows, what constitutes a lawful search and seizure can be up for debate, especially when it comes to drug crimes.

In a 4-3 ruling, the Colorado Supreme Court determined that it is lawful for police to use a drug-sniffing dog to determine if there is marijuana in a vehicle. In general, to perform a search of a vehicle, there must be evidence of a crime. However, the issue became thorny in Colorado, because it is lawful to possess small amounts of marijuana.

Student loan debt can be the root of a divorce, study says

Getting a college degree is a dream for many in Colorado, but it comes with a price -- specifically, student loan debt. The student loan debt crisis has made the news recently, as more college graduates find themselves burdened with high student loan payments that prevent them from reaching their financial goals. And, if they are married, disagreements about how to pay back student loans can cause a rift between spouses that they may not be able to overcome.

A recent study reports that one-third of borrowers who participated in the study cited money disagreements as the reason behind their divorce. One in eight participants stated that student loan debt was behind their decision to end their marriage.

When can a person use self-defense in Colorado?

Sometimes, a person finds themselves facing the threat of imminent injury or death at the hands of another person. When this happens, a person may have no choice but to use physical force to fight back. For this reason, Colorado law recognizes that self-defense can be used in certain circumstances.

In general, a person in Colorado is justified in using physical force against another individual if they reasonably believe that the other person is threatening to use or is using unlawful physical force against them. However, a person can only use the degree of force that is necessary to defend themselves or someone else.

Can following the keto diet lead to a DUI?

The keto diet is all the rage lately among many in Colorado wishing to lose weight and improve their health. In general, those following the keto diet will eat low-carb, high-fat foods to put their body into ketosis, which according to some, makes their body burn fat for energy, resulting in weight loss and better health. One interesting aspect of being in ketosis is that your liver creates acetone as part of the process, which is released in your breath as isopropyl alcohol. And, this has very interesting implications, particularly when it comes to DUIs.

This is because many breath test instruments cannot distinguish between the ethanol alcohol that is in a person's breath if the person has had too much to drink and the non-impairing isopropyl alcohol created due to ketosis. This means that a breath test instrument could register a blood-alcohol concentration level above the legal limit of a person in ketosis, even if the person hadn't touched a drop of alcohol.

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