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Does Colorado have a felony DUI law?

As the law currently stands, Colorado does not have a felony DUI law in place. What that means is the maximum punishment for drunk driving is one year in county jail, no matter how many previous DUI convictions the person has.

In some situations, prosecutors can charge a personal accused of drunk driving with a low-level felony if the DUI is combined with a habitual traffic offender (HTO) charge, and these charges can carry one to one-and-a-half years in prison and/or probation. 

A felony DUI bill has been proposed twice in the state over the past two years but it has not been successful. Another felony DUI bill will be introduced in January, which would make the third DUI in five years a felony, or the fourth DUI within a lifetime a felony.

In the meantime, prosecutors have decided to take an extreme approach in a DUI case involving a Colorado man who has been convicted of drunk driving more than a dozen times.

After the 57-year-old, who has 16 alcohol-related driving convictions, was arrested for drunk driving again, prosecutors from the 18th Judicial District came at him with federal charges.

The man was indicted on nine charges, including attempted manslaughter. If convicted, the man could face years in prison.

As you can see, Colorado prosecutors are eager to come down hard on repeat DUI offenders, even without a felony DUI law on the books.

For these reasons, it's crucial to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer after being charged with a second, third or subsequent DUI charge.

Source: KUSA 9 News, "Man with 16 DUIs calls Colorado law into question," Anastasiya Bolton, Dec. 3, 2014

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