Many Arrested for Drinking, Driving had Lost Their Licenses to Past DUIs

One of every four motorists cited for drinking and driving in Colorado over the past two years was driving at the time without a valid license because it had been revoked, suspended or never issued, a Rocky Mountain PBS I-News analysis of state records found.

And more than one-fifth of that number without licenses had lost their driving privileges for a prior drunken driving conviction.

Family members and friends, including his cousin Luzelena Sanchez, right, of Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino, hold photos of Dominguez-Palomino while they listen to testimony in the courtroom. An advisement hearing is held in district court for Ever Olivos-Gutierrez at the Arapahoe County Courthouse in Centennial on Monday, March 31, 2014. Olivos-Gutierrez is accused of driving drunk and killing 17-year-old Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino.

Kathryn Scott Osler / Getty Images

Family members and friends, including his cousin Luzelena Sanchez, right, of Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino, hold photos of Dominguez-Palomino while they listen to testimony in the courtroom. An advisement hearing is held in district court for Ever Olivos-Gutierrez at the Arapahoe County Courthouse in Centennial on Monday, March 31, 2014. Olivos-Gutierrez is accused of driving drunk and killing 17-year-old Juan Carlos Dominguez-Palomino.

In one notorious Aurora case, Ever Olivos-Gutierrez, 40, allegedly driving drunk, ran a red light and smashed into a car being driven by Juan Carlos Dominquez-Palomino, 17, killing him two months before he was to graduate from high school.

Olivos-Gutierrez had never had a Colorado driver’s license and had been cited for two previous DUIs when he was involved in the deadly March 24 crash.

That same day, 10 other drivers across Colorado were cited for drinking while driving without a valid license. Five of them – from Pueblo to Colorado Springs to Mesa County – had lost their licenses for prior DUIs.

I-News analyzed electronic court records of 45,637 people arrested for drinking and driving offenses issued in Colorado from April 2012 through April 2014, finding that many weren’t legally on the road in the first place.

The analysis did not include Denver County Court, where court officials said they could not determine how many of the 13,200 motorists charged with drinking and driving over the two years had no valid driver’s license at the time.

The analysis found:

  • One-fourth or 10,978 of the 45,637 driving while intoxicated or impaired citations were issued to drivers who had previously had their licenses suspended, restrained or did not have a license. That’s an average of 15 a day, without including Denver.
  • At least 2,294 of those drivers, or three a day, had lost their driving privileges for a prior driving and drinking arrest.
  • More than 250 separate law enforcement agencies in the state had stopped at least one driver for drinking and driving without a license.

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