New DUI law to take effect in Colorado | AspenTimes.com
YOUR AD HERE »

New DUI law to take effect in Colorado

Matt Stensland
Steamboat Today

A new law that goes into effect today gives judges more guidance when it comes to sentencing someone who has been convicted of a fourth DUI.

The law addresses what The Denver Post discovered was a wide range of sentences being handed down by judges.

After reviewing cases pertaining to a state law that made a fourth DUI a felony, The Post found about 8 percent of the people convicted were not incarcerated at all. Nearly 30 percent of the cases The Denver Post looked at resulted in a prison sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen said the law is relevant in Routt and Moffat counties.

He recalled one case where a man pleaded guilty to a felony DUI because it potentially resulted in a lesser jail sentence under the old law.

Under the old law, Karzen said an offender could get either straight probation with no jail, two to six years in prison or probation with up to 90 days in county jail.

The updated law requires that probation must be accompanied by a county jail sentence of at least 90 days and up to 180 days.

Karzen said a judge can also sentence an offender to between 120 days and two years in county jail if the offender wants to participate in a jail alternative program like work release.

“The new statutory scheme still requires courts to consider appropriate alternative sanctions rather than the state penitentiary, which, given the addiction issues often present with repeat DUI offenders, is an important component of changing behavior and avoiding recidivism,” Karzen said. “At the same time, the new law accounts for the repeating history of DUI by requiring a significant punishment component in the form of substantial county jail over and above the incarceration generally ordered for a third DUI, which remains a misdemeanor.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.
 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


News

Steve’s Guitars holds its 1,000th Friday concert

|

Steve’s Guitars will present its 1,000th consecutive live music Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Grassroots TV, featuring a special lineup of performers for the show, including luthier Wally Bacon, who owned the “shop” as Wally’s Music before Standiford bought it from him in 1993.



See more