It seems we're always hearing of drunk drivers causing accidents and deaths across Denver and Arapahoe County. These are devastating consequences, which have caused our state legislators to think about changing the law on drunk driving, C.R.S. 42-4-1301. If you hadn't heard, a felony DUI law went into effect August 5th after Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1043 in June. Since then, Colorado prosecutors have already been working on their first felony DUI cases. Let's learn more about the new Colorado felony DUI law.A person convicted of a DUI or DWAI needs treatment to overcome an addiction, not isolation in prison.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can protect yourself from getting a DUI in Colorado, you can read more at thefreethoughtproject.com, which goes into detail about DUI checkpoints.
Prosecutors Want Prison for Driving Under the Influence Offenders in Adams County
According to the news, there have already been nearly two dozen cases of people arrested for DUI's with three or more prior convictions in Adams County and other counties across Colorado.
Prosecutors in Broomfield and Jefferson County believe repeat drunk drivers should be incarcerated in the Department of Corrections. According to one Colorado District Attorney, incarcerating repeat offenders is the only way to make sure they're not going to drink and drive anymore, and it's the only way to keep the public safe.
While I agree that drinking and driving should not be tolerated, I can't say prison time is always the best way to completely solve the issue of DUI and DWAI drunk driving. A person convicted of Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Ability Impaired needs lengthy treatment and support to overcome an addiction, not lengthy isolation in prison.
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Tough Penalties in Felony DUI Law in Denver and Douglas County
As criminal defense lawyers, we fear being tough on drunk drivers isn't always the best approach.
The general public and legislators think consequences should be tough on people who reoffend. That's why, instead of a misdemeanor charge, getting a fourth Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol will result in a class 4 felony charge. This means facing between 2 to 6 years in prison as opposed to the original penalty of up to one year of Denver County Jail time.
According to the felony DUI law, to face a class 4 felony charge for a DUI in Adams County and across Colorado, you must have had three or more prior convictions for a DUI, DWAI, vehicular assault and / or vehicular homicide charges.
Judges also have the freedom to decide the sentencing range for someone charged with Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol after three or more convictions. Of course, harsher sentences are encouraged. It looks better for District Attorneys, judges and police who made the initial arrests to be tough on crime. However, as criminal defense lawyers, we fear that being tough is not always the best approach.
Why You Need the Best Denver DUI Defense Attorneys
Getting a DUI in Denver and across Colorado can come with harsh consequences. And, with Colorado's new felony DUI law, getting more than three DUI's can dramatically impact your life. Though prosecutors want to be tougher on repeat offenders, an expert criminal defense lawyer can still fight hard on your behalf. Contact our office today if facing charges of a DUI or DWAI in Denver, or if you have questions about Colorado's felony DUI law.
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If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or a DWAI in Denver, Colorado, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the best DUI defense attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation
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