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Felony DUI bill introduced in Colorado legislature
Another legislative session has begun in Colorado and another attempt to enact legislation to make repeat DUI offenders into felons has been introduced. As a Denver DUI attorney, I see repeat offenders on a daily basis. I get the visceral desire to punish repeat offenders harshly. What the public doesn’t see is the ineffectiveness of such legislation. Research done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has shown that Colorado, even without a felony DUI bill, has had a downward trend in DUI related fatalities. The research also fails to show a decrease in recidivism in states where felony DUI bills have passed. The reason? Without serious alcohol addiction treatment, these felons will leave prison still addicted to alcohol. The 2015 felony DUI bill is estimated to cost Colorado taxpayers over $26 million. Imagine what would happen if that level of funding was assigned to serious alcohol treatment for repeat Colorado DUI offenders.