On Wednesday, August 5th, DUI lawyers say that Colorado’s new felony drunk driving law goes into effect, bringing Colorado law in line with most other U.S. states. The law will make a drunk driver’s fourth offense a felony charge, with a $500,000 fine and up to six years in prison. According to Colorado DUI lawyers, 45 other states already have a felony DUI standard, and so Colorado Governor Hickenlooper, drunk driving advocates, and state legislators worked together to pass the new law earlier this year.
And still, many people say the law doesn’t go far enough.
“In my opinion, the law’s still not stringent enough,” said Gail Oleson, whose husband was killed by a four-time drunk driving offender 33 years ago. “But it’s a start. It’s a start in the right direction.”
Oleson was one of many Colorado residents who has worked to curb drunk driving by testifying in favor of the new felony DUI standard.
“I said it’s time. And it was finally time for me to be able to speak out about it and tell my story…To let the legislators see that in 33 years, nothing’s changed. We need to do something more.”
For drivers who have recently been arrested for their first, or even second, drunk driving offense, the often humiliating experience can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. While it might not feel that way after an embarrassing night in jail, that’s what many drunk driving offenders come to believe. Why? Because no one thinks they will be arrested for drunk driving four times. No one.
Once you’ve been arrested for drinking and driving for the fourth or fifth time, not even the best DUI lawyers can help you avoid the legal consequences. Even a first DUI offense in the Rocky Mountain state can result in a year-long license suspension and fines from $300 to $1,000. Not only that, but first time offenders could end up serving five days to an entire year in jail, plus up to 96 mandatory public service hours.
The best criminal defense lawyers and Colorado DUI attorneys can often help ensure that a first DUI offense isn’t the end of the world — if it’s not just your first DUI offense, but also your last. Drivers who use a first DUI offense as a wake up call to stay sober behind the wheel for good won’t have to worry about the harsh consequences of the new law. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, then contact Colorado DUI lawyers to help get you moving on the road forward.
Remember: Prior legal outcomes are not a guarantee of future results.