Days ago, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed felony DUI bill HB 15-1043, effectively making it law within the state. Given that this law will have some significant impacts on some drivers in Colorado – and that it has undergone multiple revisions, below are some of the most important facts to know about this new law.
New Colorado Felony DUI Law: Important Info
1 – Under the new law, a fourth DUI charge can be filed as a felony.
Specifically, fourth DUI charges can be filed as Class 4 felony charges. These charges carry potential penalties of between two and four years in prison, along with hefty fines, etc.
2 – Prior DUIs in other states will count.
While prior DUI convictions accumulated in Colorado will count towards an individual (when it comes to determining when this law/felony DUI charges apply), so too will DUI convictions people have:
- In other U.S. states
- In any other territory that is under the jurisdiction of the U.S.
Additionally, vehicular assault (pursuant 18-3-205 (1) (b), C.R.S.) and vehicular homicide (pursuant 18-3-106 (1) (b), C.R.S.) convictions can count as prior DUI convictions for the purposes of this law.
3 – Upon conviction, judicial discretion can be used to determine the sentence.
This is an interesting facet of the new Colorado felony DUI law, as it is one of the provisions that was revised to quiet criticism regarding concerns of addiction/alcoholism treatment for repeat offenders. Under this provision, the law states that the judge:
must 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. 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.
4 – The new law goes into effect on August 5, 2015.
Starting at 12:01 am on August 5, 2015, the new Colorado felony law will take effect in the state. Some are expecting that as many as 1,700 people within the state will be facing felony DUI charges per this new law (each year it is in effect).
Adams County & Boulder DUI Attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates
Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI? If so, the Adams County & Boulder DUI attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates are ready to immediately start defending you. Our primary concern is protecting your constitutional rights throughout the criminal process while helping you obtain the best possible outcome to your case.
We have a proven record of success and excellence in helping our clients favorably resolve their criminal cases, and we are ready to put our experience, knowledge and skills to work for you.