Boulder DA Notes “Need” for Colorado Felony DUI Law after Man Gets 12th DUI Arrest

January 31, 2015

A 49-year-old man was arrested for his 12th alleged DUI this week in Longmont, and now some, including Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett, are noting that this proves a “need” to institute a Colorado felony DUI law.

As a man faces DUI charges for the 12th time, a Boulder DA is noting the need for a Colorado felony DUI law. A bill for such a law could be passed soon.

As a man faces DUI charges for the 12th time, a Boulder DA is noting the need for a Colorado felony DUI law. A bill for such a law could be passed soon.

According to the police report associated with this case, the man was stopped during a routine traffic stop, was found to be driving on a suspended driver’s license and failed a field sobriety test. Although the man refused to submit to blood alcohol testing and had denied consuming any alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel, officers reportedly noted that he allegedly:

  • Smelled like alcohol
  • Had multiple alcohol bottles, including at least one open container, in the vehicle with him.

Colorado court records also reveal that the man:

  • Has been convicted of DUI and DWAI at least five times in Boulder County and Larimer County
  • Has been convicted of vehicular assault related to DUI once in Larimer County
  • Is currently facing charges of DUI and possessing an open alcoholic container.

Should there be a Colorado Felony DUI Law? CO Legislators May Soon Decide…

While Boulder DA Stan Garrett has pointed to cases like this as evidence for the need for a Colorado felony DUI law, a bill proposing just that is scheduled to make its way before the Colorado House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on February 5th. If this bill is ultimately passed into law, the Colorado felony DUI law would give prosecutors the option to pursue felony DUI charges for people who have been charged with a:

  • A Third DUI within 7 years
  • A 4th DUI at any point in their lifetime.

While there is strong support for this bill among law enforcement officials, lawmakers and others, there are some potential drawbacks that have been noted. A few of these include that passing a Colorado felony DUI law could:

  • Significantly increase the costs of the adjudicating these cases and dealing with the convicted individuals (e.g., through incarceration, probation, etc.)
  • End up not really deterring people with serious drug and alcohol problems from driving while intoxicated, as felony criminal charges don’t necessarily deal with alcoholism/addiction issues.

As more news on the status of this bill becomes available, we’ll report it to you here.

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Categories: Blogs, Criminal Defense News, DUI, DUI News, DUI Penalties