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Felony DUI Mandatory Minimums Go Into Effect

New Mandatory Minimums for Felony DUI go into effect on August 9th

Thanks to the advocacy efforts of volunteers and supporters like you, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 1288 unanimously by a vote of 99-0. Rep. Lori Saine, Rep. Mike Foote, Sen. John Cooke, and Sen. Lois Court sponsored the bill. This legislation closes important loopholes in Colorado’s Felony DUI law which passed in 2015. These new penalties for Felony DUI went into effect on August 9th.

Before the loopholes where closed, Colorado law required a minimum of sixty days in jail for a third misdemeanor DUI—yet some people convicted of Felony DUI (four or more) received no time in jail, community corrections, or prison. In addition, Level II treatment and useful public service weren’t required under the original version of Felony DUI.

HB 1288 fixed these issues. These important changes strengthen our DUI laws and will help hold accountable those who continue to drive drunk or impaired.

Thank you again for your calls and emails to legislators!

What the Bill Does

If a court sentences the person to probation under Felony DUI, the bill requires the court to choose one of the following sentencing options:

-Require the defendant to serve at least 90 days but not more than 180 days in the county jail; or

-Require the defendant to serve at least 120 days but not more than 2 years in the county jail through participation in an alternative sentencing program (such as work release) if such programs are available.

Additionally, the bill states that if the court sentences such an offender to a term of probation, the court shall:

-Require the defendant to complete at least 48 hours but not more than 120 hours of useful public service; and

-Include, as a condition of the defendant’s probation, a requirement that the defendant complete a level II alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program at the defendant’s own expense.

In the Media

Several local media outlets covered the new changes in the Felony DUI law:

Fox 21 in Colorado Springs with MADD Colorado volunteer Jeanne Highline:

CBS4 Denver with MADD Colorado Executive Director Fran Lanzer:

The Denver Post: