Repeat DUI offenders in Colorado may soon face stricter penalties

A new bill recently approved by a legislative committee would enhance the penalties repeat DUI offenders in Colorado face.

Drunk driving is a serious problem that threatens the lives of drivers, passengers and pedestrians in Colorado and the rest of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many people are injured and nearly 30 people die in drunk driving-related collisions every day. This equates to approximately one death every 51 minutes.

To prevent the number of drivers who operate a vehicle in an intoxicated state, a new bill relating to DUI penalties was recently approved by Colorado's House Judiciary Committee, states ABC 7. Under this bill, drivers who are convicted of their fourth DUI would be considered felons. If this bill becomes law, the stricter DUI penalties associated with felony charges would also apply to those who receive three DUIs within a seven-year period in certain situations.

Concerns about this bill

Currently, Colorado is just one of five states in the country that has not enacted a law like this. However, even this bill's supporters have concerns, particularly related to cost, about its implementation. Financial apprehensions were one of the main reasons why a similar bill failed during the 2014 legislative session, states ABC 7. The financial concerns relating to this bill primarily exist because legislators are not sure how many people would be convicted of felony DUI if this legislation were to become law.

Alcohol's effect on driving ability

In Colorado, according to the Office of Legislative Legal Services, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration level at or above 0.08 may face penalties for drinking and driving. However, drivers with BAC levels below this legal limit can still endanger the lives of others. For example, according to the CDC, when a driver reaches a BAC level of 0.02, he or she may have a hard time performing two tasks at one time. A driver with this BAC level may also experience a decline in his or her visual functions.

When a driver reaches a BAC level of 0.05, he or she may have a hard time steering the vehicle and experience reduced coordination. A driver with this BAC level may also find it difficult to track moving objects and may experience a reduced response to emergency driving situations. Once a driver has a BAC level of 0.08, he or she may struggle to concentrate, remember things and control the speed of his or her vehicle.

Recovering after an accident

Those in Colorado who are involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver may sustain injuries that require extensive medical and rehabilitative care. If you incurred injuries in a drunk driving-related accident, speak with an attorney to determine what legal steps you should take next.

Keywords: Alcohol’s effect , DUI offenders , Drunk driving ,Colorado , Legislative Legal Services