Colorado Felony DUI Law Will Take Effect in August

June 8, 2015

Last week, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the felony DUI bill (HB 15-1043), officially making it law in the state.

With the passage of this bill into law, a fourth (or subsequent) DUI charge can be filed as a Class 4 felony, creating far greater potential penalties for repeat offenders than had been previously available. According to officials, this new law will take effect on August 5, 2015.

Felony DUIs in Colorado: Here’s What You Should Know about the New Law

Here’s what you should know about the new Colorado felony DUI law, which will take effect on Aug. 5, 2015, a Boulder & Denver DUI lawyer explains.

Here’s what you should know about the new Colorado felony DUI law, which will take effect on Aug. 5, 2015, a Boulder & Denver DUI lawyer explains.

Given that the new law will be effective in less than two months, here’s what you should be aware of:

  • When the law will apply – Felony DUI charges can be filed against you in Colorado if you have at least 3 prior DUI convictions and are arrested for/charged with DUI a subsequent time.
  • How prior DUIs are counted – Prior DUI convictions that will be counted against a person (for the purposes of this law) include DUI and DWI convictions; vehicular homicide convictions (pursuant 18-3-106 (1) (b) C.R.S.); and vehicular assault convictions (pursuant 18-3-205 (1) (b) C.R.S.).
  • Priors in other states count – While the prior convictions include those handed down in Colorado, related convictions in any U.S. state (or territory subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.) can also count as priors for this law. So, people who have at least prior DUI convictions accumulated in other states can still face felony DUI charges in Colorado if they are arrested for drunk driving for a fourth time in the state.
  • Judges will have discretion regarding sentencing for felony DUIs – In the event that someone is convicted of a felony DUI in Colorado, the law states that, while the potential penalties can include between 2 and 4 years in prison, it will ultimately be up to the judge presiding over the case to “determine that incarceration is the most suitable option, given the facts and circumstances of the case, including the defendant’s willingness to participate in treatment.”

    The law goes on to state, regarding judicial discretion for sentencing for felony DUIs in Colorado that, “Additionally, the court shall consider whether all other reasonable and appropriate sanctions and responses to the violation that are available to the court have been exhausted, do not appear likely to be successful if tried, or present an unacceptable risk to public safety.”

  • Probation and IID requirements – Upon convictions for felony DUI charges, the Colorado State Board of Parole “shall require the parolee to use an approved ignition interlock device for the entire period of the person’s parole.”

You can see the full outline of this new Colorado felony DUI law by clicking here.

What do you think about the new Colorado felony DUI law? Do you think it will be effective at deterring repeat offenders? Share your comments with us on Facebook & Google+.

Boulder & Denver DUI Lawyer at the Griffin Law Firm

Have you been charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI? If so, you can turn to the Boulder & Denver DUI lawyer at Griffin Law Firm for experienced help and the best possible defense. With more than 18 years’ experience in the criminal justice system, our attorney understands the complexities of the system, the challenges different defendants can face and the best ways of overcoming these challenges to bring criminal cases to successful resolutions.

To receive a complete evaluation of your case, along with professional advice regarding your best options, contact us by calling (303) 280-1070 or by emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page.

Categories: DUI News