A drunk driving charge might soon get more expensive in the state. Colorado legislators are considering a measure that would allow the victims of Colorado DUI accidents and their families to recover more money from drunk drivers found guilty of the already costly crime.
Senate Bill 107 would remove a state cap on the damages that drunk drivers would be forced to pay following an accident. The cap is currently set at about $462,000, since a cap was established back in 1986.
If lawmakers remove this cap, victims will theoretically be able to collect damages that are far higher, depending on the specific case. They think that the loss and injury caused by DUI crashes deserve more in damages than the current cap. It can be ineffective to change legislation based on emotion because certain logic is lost in the argument.
Supporters of the measure say that unlimited damages would be more effective in preventing people from driving under the influence. Opponents of the change, however, say that measure would have little impact on alcohol-related car accidents in Colorado.
The current cap on damages is already a high price for most, making it hard or impossible for convicted drunk drivers to pay victims as it is. Plus, suggest some attorneys against the bill, the amount of repeat DUI offenders in the state supports the point that a financial deterrent is ineffective.
The proposed measure is now on its way to the Senate for approval. We will post an update when news comes out regarding the bill’s status.
KDVR: “Effort to make drunk drivers really pay moves ahead,” Eli Stokols, 9 Feb. 2011