New penalties are scheduled to go into effect for those arrested for driving under the influence in Colorado. Beginning July 1, 2010 those Colorado DUI offenders will face more jail time and additional public service.
A drunk driver could be sentenced up to 5 days in jail for a first offense. A second arrest will bring about a mandatory minimum 10 day jail sentence, and a third or subsequent offense would result in a mandatory minimum 60 day jail term. The new law removes the judge’s discretion in the case and is in response to reaction to an investigation that showed repeat offenders often received fairly light penalties. Currently, a judge can reduce a jail sentence for repeat offenders to as few as 6 days.
Those convicted of drunk driving in Colorado will also have to serve more public service hours and pay for their own drug or alcohol rehabilitation. Failure to undergo treatment could result in a additional time in jail.
The new law is intended to address the problems of chronic drinking and driving. It is hoped that getting help will reduce recidivism and possibly save lives.
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