High-profile Denver DUI cases fill the news this month

DUI cases made front-page news in Denver this week following significant developments in two high-profile cases.

On August 15, a Denver driver was sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with a fatal DUI-related accident and, in a separate case, a Denver jury found Broncos linebacker Williams guilty of driving while ability impaired (DWAI).

Twenty-eight-year-old Victoria Barry had a blood-alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit when her vehicle crashed head-on into another car on May 14, 2011.  Police say Barry was headed the wrong way on Interstate-25 when the accident occurred. Lilly Duncan, the driver of the other car, was killed in the accident.

Although the Denver Post reported that Barry had a clean criminal record prior to the wreck, Denver District Court Judge Sheila Rappaport apparently took into account the feelings and opinions of Duncan’s grieving family when giving Barry close to the maximum sentence allowed for vehicular homicide. Barry’s 10-year sentence is to be followed by five years of parole.

As for Williams, he was arrested and charged with DUI on November 12, 2010, after driving without his headlights on. Although police officers said Williams refused any chemical test that would have recorded his blood-alcohol levels, they testified at trial that he smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot, watery eyes when he was stopped.

Williams could be sentenced to up to a year in jail plus a fine and community service.

This is Williams second DWAI — he pleaded guilty to the charge in 2005 — and he could face a games suspension when the NFL reviews his case. He is already facing a six-game suspension for failing a test for performance-enhancing substances.

Denver DUI cases in news

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