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New to Colorado
#1
Hello,

I am soon moving to the Broomfield area from another state. I have been researching gun laws in anticipation of my move. I have a question regarding consumption of alcohol and using a weapon in self defense. Please note I am in no way advocating use of a firearm while under alcohol this is simply an inquiry.

If an individual is in a situation where he/she has consumed alcohol within their residence, and encounters an armed intruder in their own home, and is faced with deadly force, and uses a firearm to defend themselves from said use of deadly force, would this be a violation of the law? Is this something that is enforced, any records of these types of scenarios any of you are familiar with?

Regards
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#2
I haven't researched this issue, and I am most definitely not a lawyer. That said, I can't imagine how or why a citizen could be prosecuted for defending themselves with deadly force in a life-threatening situation, especially in their own home where the 'Make-my-day' law applies (what is known as 'Castle doctrine' in other states).
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#3
I don't believe this is codified, nor tested in court. It may be something determined in a trial.
JackRock
Lakewood, CO
http://ryancash.co
Charter Member, Bristlecone Shooting Center
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#4
(03-21-2016, 08:03 PM)SPT27 Wrote: Hello,

I am soon moving to the Broomfield area from another state. I have been researching gun laws in anticipation of my move. I have a question regarding consumption of alcohol and using a weapon in self defense. Please note I am in no way advocating use of a firearm while under alcohol this is simply an inquiry.

If an individual is in a situation where he/she has consumed alcohol within their residence, and encounters an armed intruder in their own home, and is faced with deadly force, and uses a firearm to defend themselves from said use of deadly force, would this be a violation of the law? Is this something that is enforced, any records of these types of scenarios any of you are familiar with?

Regards

I'm not aware of any court cases with specific regards to this, but my thoughts (I'm not a lawyer), is that the Doctrine of Competing Harms, codified as the Choice of Evils statute in CO would come into play. This is an affirmative defense (like self defense, meaning, "Yes I did it but....") means that if following the law, would result in greater harm than not following the law, it shall be a defense in court. Massad Ayoob explains this by saying to imagine you're going along a mountain road, and the sign says, "No Lane Change", but a drunk driver swerves into your lane. Under The Doctrine of Competing harms, aka Necessity Doctrine, or Choice of Evils, changing lanes to save your life/that of others, renders immunity to prosecution."

In CO the statute reads:

18-1-702. Choice of evils.

(1) Unless inconsistent with other provisions of section 18-1-703 to 18-1-707, defining justifiable use of physical force, or with some other provision of law, conduct which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal when it is necessary as an emergency measure to avoid an imminent public or private injury which is about to occur by reason of a situation occasioned or developed through no conduct of the actor, and which is of sufficient gravity that, according to ordinary standards of intelligence and morality, the desirability and urgency of avoiding the injury clearly outweigh the desirability of avoiding the injury sought to be prevented by the statute defining the offense in issue.

(2) The necessity and justifiability of conduct under subsection (1) of this section shall not rest upon considerations pertaining only to the morality and advisability of the statute, either in its general application or with respect to its application to a particular class of cases arising thereunder. When evidence relating to the defense of justification under this section is offered by the defendant, before it is submitted for the consideration of the jury, the court shall first rule as a matter of law whether the claimed facts and circumstances would, if established, constitute a justification.

Hope this helps,

Darkwolf.
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