It is already a stressful situation when someone is charged with DUI in Colorado. The loss of freedom, the loss of one's driver's license and the damage to someone's record and reputation are current consequences for defendants convicted of drunk driving.
Now, lawmakers want to add more fear into the mix. Supporters behind a proposed piece of legislation don't believe that Colorado's drunk driving laws are strict enough. They don't believe that current laws sufficiently deter drivers from driving drunk and from repeating that behavior.
Last week, a bill passed through a committee that would make it easier for authorities to charge DUI suspects with felony level crimes. Those supporting the proposal address how repeat offenders now get away with their actions too easily, by only facing misdemeanor charges. They want felonies to be more commonplace for repeat offenders.
If passed, the new law would mean that a driver convicted of DUI or DWAI three times or more in seven years would face felony-status charges and sentencing. Also, anyone who has four convictions in his or her entire history would be charged with a felony DUI.
Most other states have laws like this already in place, a point that lawmakers who are pushing for the change use as support for changing Colorado law. States in general don't like to be seen as so-called easy on drunk driving. But there needs to be more than avoiding what people might think to ultimately lead to the potential enactment of this proposal.
Someone facing a misdemeanor DUI charge needs an aggressive drunk driving defense attorney to fight on his side. And certainly someone who's facing felony DUI needs trusted, experienced representation. If this bill is passed, the consequences of a repeat conviction would be even greater; therefore, there'd be even more reason to put up a strong defense.
Our Colorado Springs DUI defense firm handles misdemeanor and felony cases. We are dedicated to defending those who are charged with drunk driving.
Source: KKTV, "Harsher Penalties Could Be On The Way For DUI Offenders," Feb. 22, 2013