Drunk driving is a major concern in all states and many are now moving to make repeat offenders face even stiffer penalties. In Colorado, lawmakers have passed a measure that would create a felony charge for DUI/DWI offenders. House Bill 1043 permits a felony charge to be laid in cases where there is a fourth drunken-driving offense over a lifetime.
The first time the bill was run through the legislature, it suggested that the felony charge be laid when there is a third offense. That idea did not garner much support and it languished until Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, brought it back with the stipulation of a fourth offense. While seemingly popular the second time around, there are still those who feel the bill focuses on punishment and not treatment for offenders. Nonetheless, Colorado has had enough and wants to get inebriated drivers off the road. It is one of five states where such drivers only face misdemeanor charges even with repeated offenses.
Although this law is a step forward in addressing punitive measures for repeat drunken-driving offenders, the major issue of alcohol addiction and the need to successfully address it remains. Many alcoholics do not think they have a problem, and accidents happen. Until this issue is addressed, tragedies on the road will persist.
Our firm speaks on behalf of victims of drunk drivers. If you have been involved in a crash with a drunk driver, find out what your legal rights are and how to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.