Colorado has yet to implement a felony DUI statute, but this may change if a new bill is passed. One Colorado legislator wants to stiffen penalties for so-called repeat DUI offenders, and the bill appears to have popular support.
The bill in question calls for the 3rd DUI in seven years or 4th DUI in a lifetime in Colorado to be classified as a felony. A felony conviction could then lead to three years imprisonment.
The bill would also apply to driving while ability impaired (DWAI), which is different from a DUI. While a DUI concerns drivers that are supposedly experiencing substantial impairment whereas a DWAI charges can be brought if it is believed that a driver is affected by alcohol or drugs to the slightest degree. Apparently, the reasoning behind this provision is that many charges beginning as a DUI are reduced in the plea process.
What this means is that people from Colorado can soon expect the penalties for a DUI or DWAI to become much more severe. Undoubtedly it will mean more prison time for individuals convicted of such charges, and it also means that each arrest could have lasting consequences. A DUI or DWAI that is received when one is a young adult could still be hanging over an individual’s head for the remainder of their lives.
It’s because the penalties for a DUI or DWAI are so severe that it’s always a good idea to speak to an experienced defense attorney in this area when someone has been charged.
Source: CBS Denver, “State Lawmaker Targets Repeat DUI Offenders,” Feb. 22, 2013
- We have more information regarding DUI and DWAI charges at our Denver lawyers’ webpage.