Colorado is the home of the famous Colorado River, the Denver Broncos and the Denver Nuggets. The state is named after the red silt that is carried through the Colorado River, originating in the red rock mountains. The state is divided into 64 counties, with the most populous being El Paso, Denver and Arapahoe.

Colorado is the birthplace of actor Tim Allen, boxer Jack Dempsey, football player John Elway, musician Glenn Miller, and politician John Kerry.

Long before any of these individuals had a claim to fame, Colorado was inhabited by Native American tribes including Ute, Arapahoe, Anasazi and Cheyenne. These people have called Colorado home for more than 13,000 years. Mesa Verde National Park, located in Montezuma County, is the home of some of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the world.

With all its natural beauty and history, Colorado still has its fair share of trouble with crime and violence. The infamous Columbine shootings of April 1999 left a sad mark on Colorado and the entire U.S. The incident has resulted in calls for more gun control measures. In 2000, federal and state laws were introduced that would require safety locks on firearms as well as banning the importation of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Though laws were passed that made it a crime to buy guns for criminals and minors, there is significant controversy over legislation pertaining to background checks at gun shows. In 2001, retailer K-Mart, which had sold bullets to the shooters, announced it would no longer sell handgun ammunition.

Marijuana Laws
Colorado has decriminalized marijuana to a certain degree. This means that a first time possession of a small amount will generally be treated like a minor traffic violation, with no prison time or criminal record required. The state has medical marijuana laws enacted, for the treatment of certain conditions. Medical use is permitted with no more than 2 oz (or 6 plants), physician recommendation and state registration.

DUI Laws
People like to relax and have a good time, and Coloradans are no exception. If you are going to drink alcohol in Colorado, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the laws that govern this behavior. Colorado laws regarding alcohol are put in place to ensure that alcohol consumption does not create a safety issue for people around you and more specifically, that you do not drive a vehicle while under the influence.

Under Colorado DUI laws, a first offense can land you in jail for 5 days to 1 year, a fine of $600-$1000 and a license suspension of up to 9 months. Sentencing gets even harsher for subsequent offenses. Your best bet at staying out of trouble is to stay out of the drivers' seat if you have been drinking.

Incarceration Rate
One of the ways that Colorado deals with crime is to lock up those who violate the laws in jails and prisons. Colorado currently has an incarceration rate of 450 per 100,000 residents. This number is slightly below the national rate of 502.

Colorado Jails