Recently, Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed and proposed a bill that would directly impact and implement a felon-strike system in which DUI/DWI offenders would face felony conviction and charges through a fourth, approved, DUI/DWI charge and case.
Believe it or not, it’s currently impossible to get a felony conviction for multiple DUI convictions in the state of Colorado. In fact, Colorado is only one of four remaining states that don’t have such a preventative system in place to-date.
If this new law passes majority votes, and no citizens or government officials reject or challenge it, it will become effective purportedly by August 2015. Interestingly enough, and arguably subjective in purpose, strikes for DUI/DWI charges from other states would count towards the four strike rule and DUI law already in place. While it would not be required by judges to utilize as a legal repercussion against offenders, it would become an option.
Many advocates, and individuals opposing this bill believe that this funding and allocation of resources and services would be better served going into rehabilitative programs and other legal support personnel and resources to promote recidivism of drunk driving and drunk driving accidents. Adversely, however, individuals argue that it’s better to confine, punish, or otherwise completely remove the driving-rights of said individuals than face the casualties of innocent otherwise law-abiding citizens due to said offenders negligence or lack of care.
According to research, it will cost state prisons added fees of up to $2.6 million just in the first year of hypothetically implementing said law. By the third year, it’s projected that prison systems will face up to $10 million in costs due to such a proposed DUI law. While a small portion of costs will be offset by citations and financial penalties, they are mostly minimal in comparison. While different people have different perspectives, this is a very sensitive bill, and has been long awaited for by many. Specifically, individuals related to DUI victims and their families who are looking for justice and more credible measures to prevent drunk driving and promote recidivism. While there’s still much work to be done, in comparison to other states, most feel that such a DUI law would be very practical and productive. That is, in taking to consideration current DUI fatalities or injuries, it’s history in the United States, and (increase) in the state of Colorado to-date.
Citizens and lawmakers have until 5-August to veto the DUI law and challenge it completely or request modifications. Many are concerned about a lack of a ‘safety clause’, and a lack of this element within many state laws that can lead to other legal problems and danger for its citizens.