Colorado DUI Laws
Colorado DUI Laws & Colorado Drunk Driving Penalties
Colorado DUI Laws to Become Harsher
Currently in Colorado drunk driving is the consequence of a blood alcohol content of.08 or above; Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) is the consequence of a blood alcohol content of.05 to less than.08. Repeat offenders make up a larger portion of the arrests, nearly 33%. 32,000 people were arrested for drunk driving in the state of Colorado in 2009 and caused 173 deaths in Colorado in 2008, a 5.9% change in alcohol-impaired fatalities from 2007.
On January 8th, 2010, the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice voted to reconsider current Colorado DUI laws mandatory sentencing for repeat offenders. The new legislation will affect 7,000 Colorado drivers with multiple offenses for drunk driving records.
Despite prescribed sentencing, judges also have the authority to sentence different penalties. A second time offender requires jail time with a large range from 90 days to 1 year. Colorado DUI laws allow for great variance in sentencing due to this loophole. The discrepancy has caused variance in sentencing as much as 72 years of imprisonment for killing a person due to drunk driving compared to no imprisonment for a similar crime.
Representative Claire Levy is proposing new legislation that will categorize drunk driving as a felony in 2010 for repeat offenders. The legislation aims to increase public safety by increasing sentencing for repeat offenders. The new law will increase surcharges and will set sentencing without opportunity for variation. The additional funds will be directed to an alcohol abuse organization to be determined at a later date.
Opponents to the hypothesizedv legislation cite increased costs of $20 million and the need for additional holding cells based on the projected numbers.
Statistics clearly show the dangers of drunk driving. Alive at 25 supports efforts to increase the awareness of young drivers to all hazards of driving. Although no parent wants to think that an minor is drinking let alone drinking and driving, the best prevention is to rule by example and discuss the ramifications with your children. Additional resources for safe driving can be found on Alive at 25.