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Colorado Senate committee moves felony DUI bill forward

It was an event rarely seen at Coors Field in Denver when the Rockies are playing: a shutout. But this time, the shutout took place not on the field, but in the Colorado State Capitol Building. By a vote of 5 to 0, the Senate Judiciary committee earlier this week passed the felony DUI bill.

The bill would add Colorado to the list of states that make certain DUIs felony violations. Currently, though punishments for repeat offenders are harsh, multiple offenses are still considered misdemeanors.

If HB 1043 is passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor, a fourth DUI would be a class 4 felony. Conviction could mean two to six years in state prison.

According to a news report, the bill contains some provisions that would trigger felony charges under particular conditions. When a DUI violation occurs within seven years of two prior drunk driving convictions, it can be charged as a felony if one or more of the following conditions applies:

  • A minor was in the vehicle at the time of the drunk driving arrest
  • An accident occurred in which there was property damage or injury
  • A defendant fled the scene of a drunk driving accident
  • A defendant's BAC (blood alcohol content) was at or above 0.15 percent

Remember, the legal threshold for drunk driving is a BAC of 0.08 percent.

For those facing a persistent drunk driver (PDD) charge, a Denver attorney experienced in PDD defense can assess your options in both court and at the DMV and help you protect your license and freedom.

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