Increase in penalties for repeat DUI offenders: What should drivers know?

On behalf of Anaya-McKedy, P.C. posted in DUI on Friday, October 13, 2017.

A DUI conviction carries serious penalties, especially if it is not your first DUI offense. Individuals in Colorado who already have three or more DUI convictions should take notice of a new law that significantly increases the penalties of a fourth conviction.

What is changing?

Felony DUI offenses now carry harsher penalties in Colorado. A new law went into effect in August this year that increases the penalties for some repeat DUI offenders. What does the new law mean for people charged with a DUI? The law only applies to repeat offenders, or people who have already been convicted of a DUI offense. 

Colorado lawmakers approved the new law earlier this year. Here’s what you need to know about the new law:

  • Felony DUI offenders will now face a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail or serve 100 days of work release.
  • Felony DUI charges are mandatory for a fourth or subsequent DUI offense.

Why did the law change? Lawmakers said that a previous law included these penalties for felony DUI offenders, but not all repeat offenders would actually serve community service or spend time in jail. Lawmakers and advocates for public safety hope the new law will keep repeat offenders off the road and prevent drunk driving among previously convicted offenders.

What to do if you are facing a felony DUI

You have the right to remain silent when you are under arrest. If the police pull you over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you should remain calm, be polite and do nothing to incriminate yourself. It is important to remember that you have rights if you end up being arrested for a DUI.

How can you protect your rights after an arrest? Do not say anything and contact an attorney as soon as possible. A defense attorney will protect your rights and advocate for you throughout the criminal process, including if your case goes to trial. An attorney can help you build a strong defense and explore all options to minimize the consequences of your arrest.