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Prosecutors pressing felony DUI charges

Like a snowball rolling down a mountain, Colorado's felony DUI law is gaining momentum among state prosecutors. It has only been a month since the law was enacted, but a Denver TV station reports that nearly two dozen people around the state face the felony charge.

District Attorney Dave Young recently told KUSA that Adams and Broomfield counties already have 11 people facing the charge leveled against some multiple DUI offenders.

Since Aug. 5, those arrested with at least three previous drunk driving convictions have been charged with felony DUI. Young said that he thinks the felony charges are "surprisingly large" but that his office is "going to prosecute those people accordingly."

While Broomfield and Adams are leading the way, other counties are not far behind. KUSA reports that Douglas and Arapahoe counties have charged 7 drivers with felony DUIs, while Jefferson has filed just one case. Denver County has two felony cases pending.

The Denver cases involve a man with 4 prior DUI convictions; he is suspected of drunken driving without a valid license. The other man has 5 previous alcohol-related convictions and is also accused of being behind the wheel without a driver's license.

A 68-year-old arrested in Jefferson County is accused of speeding through a school zone while drunk and without a valid license.

Young said the only way to stop some repeat offenders from violating the law again is to lock them up. "Now we have up to six years [in prison] where we can take them out of the public and keep the public safe, keep them off the roads," the prosecutor said.

Those facing up to 6 years of incarceration for a felony DUI can speak with a Denver attorney experienced in effective, vigorous drunken driving defense.

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