With a partisan split in the state legislature, Colorado won’t see as many laws passed this year. For the most part, I count that as a positive occurrence. An important exception is House Bill 1043, brought forward by second-term Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone). HB 1043 would make it substantially easier for district attorneys to prosecute repeat DUI offenders with a felony offense. Earlier this month, the bill unanimously passed through the House Judiciary Committee. It must make a stop in the House Finance Committee before getting its first full floor hearing.
As you can see in the graphic below, Colorado has one of the highest rates of DUI arrests per 10,000 residents. Would making the law somewhat tougher help? Fewer fatalities, one would expect, but fewer arrests? The pattern based on the five states with the toughest DUI laws makes it difficult to say. Let’s make sure the repeat offenders get the justice they deserve, but let’s also not forget the importance of due process along the way.
My initial read is that HB 1043 provides the kind of tougher, but balanced, approach that would be good for the safety and well-being of Coloradans. And that just might make it one of the state’s few bipartisan legislative success stories of 2015.
Via: Chicago DUI Lawyer