Background on the CaseAccording to the police report and court documents associated with this case, the man in question was arrested for his 10th DUI after being involved in a car accident in Colorado Springs over Labor Day 2015. No one was reportedly hurt in the collision, and following the crash, the man allegedly told officers at the scene, “give me my ticket and let me get out of here.” When officers informed the man that he would be facing felony DUI charges (rather than misdemeanor drunk driving charges), the man reportedly changed his tune.
The Outcome: Felony DUI Charges Lead to PrisonIn presenting the details of this case, the prosecutor explained that many of the defendant’s prior DUI convictions were incurred in the 1980s and 1990s, when Colorado DUI laws were far more lenient on drunk driving; nevertheless, the prosecutor argued, the mere fact that this was the man’s 10th drunk driving case warranted some time behind bars.
“Certainly this was aggravated in its own right,” the prosecutor has publicly stated in relation to this case.Judge William Bain, upon hearing all of the evidence presented, explained that he considered giving the driver a lesser sentence of probation or house arrest; however, Judge Bain ultimately sided with the prosecution in this case, sentencing the man to three years in prison after the jury handed down a conviction in January 2016.
The Bottom Line: Colorado DUI Laws & Penalties Are Getting TougherThis felony DUI case reveals how Colorado laws – and authorities – are getting tougher on drunk driving. It also highlights:
- How harsh DUI penalties can be for repeat offenders, especially when they are facing felony DUI charges – In fact, while a first-offense filed as a misdemeanor can result in up to $500 in fines and up to 180 days in jail (upon conviction), felony DUIs can lead to fines as astronomical as $500,000 – and prison terms of up to six years.
- The importance of having an experienced, effective defense lawyer when facing Colorado DUI charges – Given that DUI charges can lead to severe penalties, some of which may have long-term impacts on people’s futures, having the representation of a skilled DUI defense attorney can be the key to bringing any DUI case (both misdemeanor and felony DUI cases) to successful resolutions.