Legislation strengthening Colorado’s felony DUI law clears first hearing

House Republican Caucus Chair Lori Saine – Firestone (HD 63)

DENVER—Today, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed House Bill 1288. The bill, sponsored by Representative Lori Saine (R-Firestone), closes a loophole that has allowed some Colorado judges to sentence people convicted of four or more DUIs to only probation. Currently, a third DUI conviction carries a mandatory 60-day jail sentence. However, according to a Denver Post report last September, about 1 in 12 felony DUI convictions has resulted in only probation.

“No one could have imagined that a person convicted of a fourth DUI would not even spend one night in jail,” said Saine. “This inconsistent sentencing is violating the spirit of the felony DUI law we passed two years ago, and I am pleased to see such strong bipartisan support for this good public safety legislation.”
According to the bill, if a court sentences a person convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI to probation, the court must choose one of the following sentencing options: require the defendant to serve at least 90 days but not more than 180 days imprisonment in the county jail; or require the defendant to serve at least 120 days but not more than 2 years of imprisonment in the county jail through participation in an alternative sentencing program if such programs are available.
In both options, the defendant is not eligible for good-time deductions of their sentence except for credit for any time served in custody for the violation prior to their conviction.
House Bill 1288 now moves to the Committee of the Whole.