Attorneys file constitutional challenge to new DUI law
Penalties For Felony DUI Offenders
Under current law, a person who commits a fourth or subsequent DUI offense commits a class 4 felony. Require the defendant to serve at least 90 days but not more than 180 days imprisonment in the county jail. During the mandatory 90-day period of imprisonment, the defendant is not eligible for good-time deductions of his or her sentence or for trusty prisoner status; except that a defendant receives credit for any time that he or she served in custody for the violation prior to his or her conviction. Require the defendant to serve at least 120 days but not more than 2 years of imprisonment in the county jail through participation in an alternative sentencing program if such programs are available through the county in which the defendant is imprisoned and only for certain purposes. During the mandatory 120-day period of imprisonment, the defendant is not eligible for good-time deductions of his or her sentence or for trusty prisoner status; except that a defendant receives credit for any time that he or she served in custody for the violation prior to his or her conviction. Require the defendant to complete at least 48 hours but not more than 120 hours of useful public service, which may not be suspended; 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; and Consider imposing certain other conditions of probation.
Colorado’s new felony DUI law needs another look
While the legislature managed to pass long-overdue legislation in 2015 that brought Colorado in line with 45 states that already had felony DUI laws, the measure too often results in letting repeated drunk-driving offenders get away from serving any real time – and away from the roads and the lives they put at risk. According to a review of 316 felony DUI cases conducted by The Denver Post’s Christopher N. Osher, 25 defendants got off with zero incarceration time. The new law makes a fourth DUI conviction in a lifetime a felony conviction punishable by up to six years. Prior to its passage, and Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signing it into law at the Wheat Ridge plant of a manufacturer of breathalyzers, repeat offenders received only a misdemeanor charge. Experts predicted at the time that many offenders wouldn’t see serious penalties, as lawmakers watered down the bill to save money. Prosecutors note, the new law actually weakened the old misdemeanor version in a key way. The old law required those with three or more DUI charges to spend at least 60 days in jail. The new law grants judges wide discretion for fourth-time offenders – including the option of no incarceration. As Peter Weir, the district attorney for Jefferson and Gilpin counties, told Osher, the repeat offenders targeted by the law aren’t the kind to respond to good-hearted tolerance. We’ve long been supportive of doing what it takes to ensure repeated drunken drivers do real time.
What is DUI / DWI Law?
Even if evidence of blood-alcohol concentration shows impairment, a good DUI lawyer may seek to have the case dismissed or the charges reduced. Upon conviction of a DUI, you will receive some sort of criminal sentence and your driver’s license likely will be suspended or revoked, depending on the severity and whether it is a first offense. Your attorney may be able to help you obtain driving privileges with the condition of using an ignition interlock device or the court’s permission to drive to and from work. Drug Recognition Experts: Officers specially trained to determine the drug impairment of a DUI suspect. DUI Checkpoints: Roadblocks set up by police, typically along busy roadways during New Year’s Eve and other alcohol-related events, in which motorists and checked for impairment at random. Those convicted of a DUI usually lose their license for a certain period of time, pay a hefty fine, and sometimes serve time in jail. Even if your DUI lawyer is unable to dismiss the case, he or she may be able to reduce the sentence or otherwise provide for a softer landing. Legal representation is rarely cheap, but a skilled DUI lawyer should be able to help you with the outcome of your case. To learn more about how a DUI attorney may help your case, see Hire a DUI Lawyer and Get Legal Help with a DUI. Related Practice Areas. If you have been charged with a driving under the influence, contact a skilled DUI attorney in your area.
What You Can And Can’t Do Under Washington’s New E-DUI Law
Texting or holding a phone to your ear while driving is already illegal in Washington state. Washington state troopers and local police will begin enforcing a toughened law against distracted driving. This spring, the legislature expanded the distracted driving law to forbid handling a phone behind the wheel for any reason, even when stopped in traffic or at a red light. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said you can also get a ticket for eating, sipping coffee, starting a video or grooming if a trooper sees you driving badly as a consequence. Using voice commands to make a phone call or get directions while the phone is in a cradle or connected to your car via Bluetooth is still allowed. Using a CB radio is OK. Picking up the phone to call 911 in an emergency is a permissible exception. Batiste said troopers are likely to give more lectures than tickets during the initial three to six months under the toughened law. Previously, cell phone tickets were exempted from disclosure to your insurance company. A first ticket for driving under the influence of electronics-or E-DUI-will cost you at least $136. A second violation within five years will cost at least $236. The stiffer consequences were welcomed by Tina Meyer of Arlington, who tearfully recounted how her 23-year-old son Cody was run down by a distracted driver in 2015 while he was working as a flagger in a construction zone near Issaquah.