Supreme Court of Colorado
781 P.2d 87 (1989)
Garner (defendant) was driving when a group of children was preparing to cross the street in front of his truck. All of the children stopped, except for Lisa Uhrenic, who continued to cross the street. Garner swerved, attempting to avoid the child, but the front, right side of the truck hit and killed her. Garner was charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. The vehicular-homicide statute, § 18-3-106(1)(b)(I), 8B C.R.S. (1986), provides that a person commits vehicular homicide if he “operates or drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug or intoxicant and such conduct is the proximate cause of the death of another.” Vehicular homicide is designated as a strict liability crime. At a preliminary hearing, evidence established that Garner was intoxicated and that he was driving about eight miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour. An officer testified that had Garner been travelling at the speed limit, his truck would have stopped far sooner after striking Lisa. However, the officer stated that the accident likely would still have occurred, though it was not clear whether Lisa would have died. Another officer testified that he believed the “proximate cause” of the accident was Lisa’s running and crossing in front of the truck, not Garner’s conduct. Other witnesses stated that Garner was not driving erratically. The trial court dismissed the vehicular-homicide charge on the basis of insufficient probable cause, because Garner’s driving speed, not his intoxication, proximately caused Lisa’s death. The state appealed, arguing that the court incorrectly interpreted the phrase “proximate cause” too narrowly, requiring proof that intoxication was the proximate cause of death, not Garner’s conduct of drunk driving.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Mullarkey, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.