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Increasing Colorado DUI penalties might not reduce cases

Repeat drunk driving offenders in Colorado might see an increase in penalties in the future. According to an editorial in the Denver Post this week, State Rep. Mark Waller will try again to have legislation passed this year that would add a felony DUI charge to Colorado law.

In Colorado, there is no felony DUI law, meaning drunk driving charges are treated as misdemeanors. The bill that Waller wants to introduce would make a third DUI conviction in a seven-year period a felony, or it would be a felony if a person received four DUI convictions in their lifetime.

People who are accused of drunk driving can sometimes find it difficult to get the help that they might need for an alcohol dependency issue. If a person is repeatedly punished for drunk driving, in the form of license suspensions and home monitoring, they might still not get treatment which can help prevent making an unlawful mistake in the future.

Putting people in jail because of a drunk driving felony could make their problem worse, and make it more difficult for the person to take on more responsibilities in their work and personal lives.

When someone faces a repeat drunk driving charge, they might be wise to speak with an attorney in Colorado who can help them understand their rights and defend their reputation. The stigma attached to a drunk driving conviction can make a person isolated, and unable to seek help for any dependency issue that they might have. They might also suffer consequences in their employment.

Source: The Denver Post, "Third DUI should count as a felony," Editorial Board, Jan. 12, 2013

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