In mid-April, a bill that would constitute habitual drunk driving as far more grievous under Colorado law passed unanimously in a state House voice vote. Although an earlier version of the bill would have made the accumulation of three Dui convictions in seven years a felony, an amended version would make a fourth DUI in a lifetime a felony.
The bill, which has been a top priority of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, has been met with a great deal of scrutiny primarily due to the significant cost to taxpayers. Supporters of the bill contend that inaction could be more costly in terms of human life.
Legislative analysis has estimated the cost to the Department of Corrections through the year 2020, is approximately $27.9 million.
Currently, drunken driving is a misdemeanor punishable by a one-year maximum jail term. The new legislation would make a fourth DUI offense a felony punishable by two to six years in prison. As of now, Colorado is one of only four states without a felony DUI law.
At its preliminary hearing in February, stirring testimonies were heard in support of the bill.
Ramifications of a DUI Conviction
Judges are now compelled to dispense stricter fines and penalties for drunk driving convictions. The potential penalties will depend on whether or not an individual has previously been convicted of driving under the influence. On their first conviction, violators could face monetary fines, possible jail time, community service, license suspension, and/or compulsory attendance at alcohol and drug education courses.
These, however, are only the legal implications. A clean driving and/or criminal record are required by many employers. Having a DUI conviction show up on a background check could cause trouble securing a job.
Read More: Underage DUI: What Parents Can Expect
Those convicted of a DUI will have trouble finding affordable auto insurance- if they can get coverage at all. Additionally, voting rights and second amendment rights can all be affected by a felony DUI conviction.
Factors that could exacerbate your sentence include having a minor in the vehicle with you while under the influence, prior DUI convictions, having an excessively high blood alcohol content, and causing an accident with injuries or fatalities. Additionally, many states have “Zero Tolerance” policies to punish minors with alcohol in their systems.
Contact Our Boulder DUI Defense Attorneys
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in Boulder, Denver, or anywhere in Colorado, you need to fight these charges aggressively to keep them off of your record. Don’t delay – we can help. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.