Last year, Senate Democrats in Colorado killed a bill that would have made DUI in Colorado a felony offense, much to the surprise and chagrin of the proposed law's supporters. But now a Weld County state representative is trying again, with a new bill that, if passed, would classify a charged driver's third DUI in seven years as a class 4 felony.
According to the Times Call, the proposal calls for felony charges in the event that a driver racks up three DUI offenses in seven years, or four DUI offenses over their lifetime. Additionally, the bill would require convicted drunk drivers to have their cars installed with interlock devices — such as a breathalyzer — for five years rather than just one.
"Right now, Colorado is one of the few states that does not have a felony DUI law," District 63 Representative Lori Saine tells the news source. "Right now, your third DUI is the same as your 10th, the same as your 16th, the same as your 20th and so on."
As Stan Garnett, District Attorney for Boulder County, points out, many drivers convicted of DUI "usually drive impaired dozens of times before they are caught," and while most convicted drivers may straighten out after the first offense, those who do it repeatedly present "a significant public safety risk." Saine adds that her constituents have pushed hard for this bill precisely because of so many drivers in Weld County who have accrued DUI arrests in the double digits.
Should this law pass, the sentences for DUI in Colorado will become much more stringent — sentences that often already includes significant fines, a revoked driver's license and even jail time. If you've been accused of driving under the influence, it's essential to have an expert Colorado DUI lawyer from The Orr Law Firm by your side, to expertly defend you in court and mitigate the prosecution's case as much as possible.