Lawmakers consider mandatory jail time for felony DUI offenders

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DENVER — Under Colorado law, a person caught driving drunk more than three times is charged with a felony. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll serve any time behind bars. Now lawmakers are trying to change that.

Colorado’s felony DUI law allows a judge to sentence repeat offenders to up to six years — but it also gives prosecutors and judges the discretion to sentence offenders to just probation.

HB17-1288 would require felony DUI offenders to serve a minimum of 90 days in the county jail. Defendants eligible for a work release program would be required to serve at least 120 days in jail.

Additionally, the bill states a felony DUI offender must complete at least 48 hours of useful public service, which cannot be suspended, and complete a level II alcohol and drug driving safety education or treatment program.

The bill passed its second reading in the House on Tuesday.

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