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Allegedly drunk RTD bus driver sentenced to 1 year

According to an announcement by the Denver District Attorney, a man who was detained for driving drunk while working as a contract driver on an RTD bus was sentenced to one year in jail. The man's sentence was handed down on Jan. 26 at his sentencing hearing.

Reportedly, the man was arrested in September 2014 after a passenger on the bus allegedly noticed he was driving erratically in the area of Clermont Street and East Ninth Avenue. After officers removed the man from the bus, his blood alcohol concentration allegedly registered .211 percent.

While the legal limit for driving in Colorado is .08 percent, it is only .04 percent for commercial drivers. The man entered a guilty plea to attempting to endanger public transportation and DUI in November. This conviction reportedly marked the man's fifth DUI offense. In addition to the one-year sentence, an additional year in jail was suspended. He will be required to complete two years of alcohol treatment and probation upon his release from jail. If he violates the conditions, the additional year may be imposed.

The man's plea and resulting sentencing demonstrates that in some cases, working towards obtaining a favorable plea bargain may be the best option. The man's original charge, endangering public transportation, is a felony offense in Colorado, carrying the potential of a prison sentence. People who have been accused of a DUI offense and who also have several prior convictions may want to seek the help of a criminal defense attorney. A defense attorney may be able to negotiate a favorable plea even if the arrest and charges are sound.

Source: The Denver Post, "Bus driver accused of driving drunk in Denver will face felony count," Jordan Steffen, Sept. 5, 2014

The Denver Post, " Denver DA: Man who drove RTD bus drunk sentenced to 1 year in jail ," Jesse Paul, Jan. 26, 2014.

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