Out of all of the states within our nation, Colorado has some of the more lenient drunk driving laws. Colorado is one of six states in which every DUI charge is a misdemeanor, regardless of how many times an individual has previously been convicted. However, lawmakers in Boulder County and elsewhere within the state are attempting to toughen this law.
If an individual is convicted of DUI, the harshest sentence that the charge could bring is a year in county jail. The charge is only upgraded to a felony if the driver injured or killed another person. Lawmakers have seen numerous cases where persons with multiple DUI convictions have caused fatal accidents due to the fact that they were driving under the influence once again. Some lawmakers believe that, by toughening these laws, they can prevent many of these accidents from happening.
The lawmakers fear that all other punishment tools available under the misdemeanor violation are not working to prevent recidivism for this particular offense. Therefore, some are attempting to pass legislation that would automatically upgrade an individual’s third DUI charge within seven years or the fourth charge over that person’s lifetime to a felony. If passed, those convicted under these terms would face a maximum punishment of six years in prison.
If new laws toughening the punishment for multiple DUI convictions are passed, then it will be even more imperative the person accused of committing the crime makes what they feel are the most beneficial choices in that person’s case. The person will also need to strengthen his or her Colorado criminal defense to better protect against the harsher potential punishment. Furthermore, each accused individual will also need to ensure that the person’s rights are protected through the entirety of the process.
Source: kktv.com, Lawmakers Try To Toughen DUI Laws, No author, Feb. 9, 2014