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Feb 20

Colorado Felony DUI Law

Of the 50 states in our country – five – do NOT have felony DUI laws important link. In Colorado – multiple DUI’s – DWAI’s may result in more serious sentences but the punitive portion of the sentence – jail – may only be served in the county jail. Under the new law – that all changes. Colorado DUI – DWAI defense lawyers are watching the develoment of the new law closely.

Under the proposed law – HB 13-1214 – introduced by House Minority Leader, State Rep. Mark Waller, a person would now be subjected to the penalty provisions for a class 5 felony on a FOURTH DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI offense at any point in his or her lifetime,

OR

… if they are convicted of any three such offenses within a period of seven years.

The place of confinement for felonies in Colorado is the Colorado Department of Corrections.

The sentence served – if prison is imposed – would mean a presumptive range of 1 to 3 years followed by a two year period of mandatory parole. C.R.S. section 18-1.3-401(1)(a)(IV).

IF

The Judge makes a finding at sentencing of extraordinary aggravating circumstances, the range can be doubled to 6 years.

The Cost

It has been noted that the Felony DUI law has failed in the Colorado State Legislature in the past because of the costs associated with prison incarceration – that cost is usually estimated at over $30,000.00 a year.

Bu the tide is changing – according to Waller – the prison population is down and the beds are available so no additional prisons need to be constructed.

Summary of the Colorado Felony DUI Law Bill by the Colorado State Legislature:

Under current law, a conviction for DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI is considered a misdemeanor offense. The bill states that such an offense is a class 5 felony if:

The violation occurred not more than 7 years after the first of 2 prior convictions, upon charges separately brought and tried and arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, for DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se; vehicular homicide; or vehicular assault; or The violation occurred after 3 prior convictions, upon charges separately brought and tried and arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, for DWAI, DUI, or DUI per se; vehicular homicide; vehicular assault; or any combination thereof.

Under current law, when a person is sentenced to a period of probation as part of a second or subsequent conviction for DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI, the court:

May require the person to use an approved ignition interlock device during the period of probation at the person’s own expense; and ! May require the person to submit to continuous alcohol monitoring using such technology or devices as are available to the court for such purpose.

Under the bill, the court is required to impose these conditions on such offenders.

If a person is sentenced to a period of probation pursuant to a class 5 felony conviction of DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI, the court shall not grant early termination of probation before the person has successfully completed at least 2 years of probation.

The bill repeals provisions relating to the crime of aggravated driving with a revoked license when the offender also commits DUI, DUI per se, or DWAI as part of the same criminal episode.


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