New law requires minimum jail sentence for 4th DUI

Offenders will serve at least 90 days in jail
Posted at 8:46 AM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 10:46:25-04

DENVER -- On Friday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill increasing the penalties for repeat drunk drivers.

One of the state lawmakers who sponsored HB17-1288 said this law closes a loophole in a 2015 DUI law.

"We were shocked to find some repeat offenders were not serving jail time," said Representative Lori Saine of Firestone.

Under current state law, a driver with three DUIs gets at least 60 days in jail, but a driver with four or more DUIs may not get jail time at all. That's because even though a 4th DUI is a felony, it carries no mandatory jail requirement. Offenders have received as little as probation under the current law.

"We had a family struck by a drunk driver with 7 DUI's, killed that family. Now we have a widow mourning loss of husband and two boys. This is just unacceptable," Rep. Saine said.

The new law requires a minimum 90-day sentence for a 4th DUI or higher. Offenders must also complete 48 hours of community service. They must also pay for and complete an alcohol treatment program.

The law goes into effect on August 9th.