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Jail time could become mandatory for repeat DUI offenders

Based on Colorado law, a driver who is accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated over three times faces a felony. However, this does not necessarily mean that the repeat DUI offender will spend time in jail. Lawmakers in the state are attempting to change this.

Right now, the felony DUI law in Colorado permits a judge to sentence a so-called repeat offender to up to six years behind bars after a drunk driving conviction. However, this law also enables a judge to sentence these offenders to probation only. A new proposed law, known as HB17-1288, would make it mandatory for felony drunk driving offenders to spend at least 90 days in jail.

Under the potential new law, those who are eligible to participate in a work-release program would have to spend a minimum of 120 days behind bars. In addition, felony DUI offenders would have to complete 48 hours-plus of public service. This service cannot be suspended. In addition, these offenders would need to complete level-two drug and alcohol driving safety training or some kind of treatment program.

The state treats DUI offenses very seriously, and unfortunately, being charged and then convicted of DUI can ruin a person's reputation and career prospects. Fortunately, just because a Colorado resident has been charged with this type of crime does not mean he or she will be guilty of it. Prosecutors must prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be secured. An attorney will work to ensure that the defendant's rights are protected at all stages of this type of criminal proceeding.

Source: kdvr.com, "Lawmakers consider mandatory jail time for felony DUI offenders", Anica Padilla, April 18, 2017

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