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Is Colorado felony DUI bill stalled in committee?

Hundreds of bills have been introduced in this session of the Colorado legislature, with more than 200 still pending, according to a report in the Colorado Springs Gazette. So far, 182 proposals have been approved by lawmakers and sent to the governor and 151 have been voted down or indefinitely delayed.

One of those proposals still waiting to be resolved is the felony DUI bill penned by Rep. Mark Waller. Some supporters of the measure fear it has been to the Senate's State, Military and Veteran's Affairs Committee to die a quiet death. 

Waller says “it’s incredibly frustrating” that the bill has “stalled” in the committee. He believes the measure to make a Colorado driver’s third DUI a felony should have been at the top of the legislature’s priority list.  

Some critics of the bill suggest a problem with the proposal is that it would require the state to handle alcoholism as a crime rather than treat it is a disease. Senate President Morgan Carroll says legislators are wrestling with difficult philosophical and practical questions with the proposed law: "When are you dealing with alcoholism as a disease and when are you better served putting people in prison?"

As we reported in a previous post, as the bill is currently written a repeat DUI offender could receive up to six years in prison for a third DUI conviction within a seven-year period or a fourth conviction during their lifetime.

We will keep you up to date on the bill as the legislative session comes to a conclusion.

Source: The Gazette, "As Colorado legislative session comes to close, still many loose ends," Megan Schrader, April 28, 2014

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