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Altitude, Accidents, and Colorado Tourists

Posted by Jeremy Rosenthal | Feb 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

Beautiful, scenic Colorado is a wonderful place to live in the United States. For those who are not fortunate enough to live here, Colorado is very welcoming and tourist-friendly. In 2018, it is estimated that 85.2 million visitors came to the Centennial state to enjoy skiing, hiking, shopping, and much more. In Denver alone, the tourism industry supported over sixty thousand jobs in the metro area.

Whether a tourist comes to Colorado to participate in the great outdoors in some sort of recreational activity, or they visit the vibrant downtown area of Denver, that tourist is more than likely coming from a lower altitude home. Known as the Mile High City because its elevation is one mile above sea level, many tourists from the “flatlands” have little idea how much the altitude can affect them. The air is thinner and dryer, and this can have a profound effect on how a person can feel while they are visiting our state.

Buzzed After One Drink? Or Altitude Sickness?

One of the most frequent things said to tourists when they visit Colorado for the first time is, “Watch how much you drink, you're at altitude now!” Just as there is a rumor that the baseballs fly further at Coors Stadium, it is said that alcohol has a stronger kick at altitude.

Alcohol interferes with the ability to absorb oxygen in the blood. So in theory, if a person is in a place that already has less oxygen in the air, then drinking alcohol would magnify the effect of getting less oxygen to the brain. However, if this were true, then even altitude-acclimated Denverites would get buzzed after having just one drink.

Researchers in Austria did a study in the 1990s that found that there was no difference in the blood alcohol content (BAC) of people drinking at altitude than those drinking the same amount at sea level. They also found that while altitude may not affect a person's BAC, altitude sickness has very similar side effects to being drunk. Not everyone gets altitude sickness when they visit Colorado, but some of the symptoms of altitude sickness include the following:

  • Feeling light-headed
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteady gait
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Denver Accident Attorney

Regardless of whether an out-of-state tourist causes an accident because they are impaired, either from alcohol or from partaking in recreational marijuana while the are visiting Colorado, they should be held accountable for their actions. Even if they were suffering from altitude sickness, they are responsible for their actions when they are behind the wheel of a car.

If you were injured in an accident involving an out-of-state visitor and you suspect they were impaired, you need an experienced accident attorney by your side. The team at will look into the facts surrounding your case and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact them today.

About the Author

Jeremy Rosenthal

Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is dedicated to helping his clients seek just compensation for their injuries regardless of the lengths he has to go to or the distances he may have to travel in order to get it.


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