Denver – Late last night, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed Representative Lori Saine’s (R-Firestone) bill to establish a felony sentence for habitual drunk drivers in Colorado. House Bill 1043 gives district attorneys the option to prosecute a third DUI in seven years if certain aggravators are present or a fourth in a lifetime as a Class 4 felony. To get a felony conviction for a third DUI in seven years, a prosecutor would need to prove either the driver operated under the influence with a child in the vehicle, caused injury or damage, fled the site of a crash or at the time of the violation, or within two hours after, had a BAC 0.15 or higher.
Representative Saine ran a similar bill last year, but Senate Democrats killed the bill.
“I am pleased this bill passed committee and am hopeful Democrats will finally help Republicans get a felony DUI law in Colorado,” said Saine. “While this is the fourth time in six years Republicans have tried to pass this much-needed public safety bill, this year it seems we’ll finally be able to give district attorneys the tools they need to get habitual drunk drivers off the road.”
House Bill 1043 now goes to the House Finance Committee.