Colorado Springs DUI Defense Lawyer Explains New DUI Laws
DUI laws are constantly evolving. Lawmakers want to appear as tough as possible on those who violate drinking and driving laws, so no one is shocked when these laws increase with harsher penalties. However, every state has its own punishments. Having a DUI in Colorado is different from one in Utah or even California. Sometimes, the fourth offense in Colorado is treated much differently than a fourth offense in a neighboring state.
Here in Colorado, there is a big DUI law change. However, other states are also experiencing changes, and if you plan to visit any of these states, it is imperative you know about the pending law changes and how they could affect you.
1. The Colorado Felony DUI Law
Colorado has created a felony DUI law that will affect those with their fourth DUI conviction. Unfortunately, the new law is not very consistent with sentencing, and it is still up to a judge’s discretion as to how you are sentenced under this felony DUI law. Most of the time, fourth-time offenders still do not serve any time in jail, but this depends on the attorney and the case.
It is important, however, that you realize that if you have three prior convictions for a DUI and you are charged with a fourth, the prosecution may opt for a felony charge. If convicted, you could spend a significant amount of time in prison.
2. Kentucky’s Felony DUI Law
Kentucky is also creating a felony DUI law that allows the courts to go back and look at prior convictions. The law originally only allowed a five-year lookback period, but now they can look back for 10 years.
3. Maryland’s IID Laws
Maryland is becoming tougher on DUI offenders as well. Most states require that repeat (and sometimes first-time) DUI offenders use an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicles. However, Maryland is now requiring it after the first offense.
4. Tennessee Creates Harsher DUI Laws for Juveniles
The juvenile DUI law in Tennessee is receiving a change so that the state does not lose out on federal funding. The new law had a maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) level among juveniles at 0.08 percent, but that conflicted with the federal law. Therefore, the state is now conforming to the federal law, which requires juveniles to have a BAC of 0.02 percent or lower.
5. New Hampshire’s Restricted Driver’s License Laws
New Hampshire is now creating a limited privilege license for first-time DUI offenders. The license allows for the offender to drive to work, school, and any necessary medical appointments. However, he or she cannot drive anywhere else, and he or she may only receive a restricted license if the offender also agrees to use an IID in the vehicle.
Colorado’s DUI Penalties Are Harsh – Do Not Risk Your Freedom
Colorado has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. The state does not look kindly on first-time offenders or multiple offenses. So, you need the best criminal representation possible to avoid spending a large majority of your time in prison.
Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. can help. Schedule your consultation today at 719-577-9700 or contact him online. As a former prosecutor, he knows what charges you are likely to face, and may be able to help you avoid excessive jail time – or even have your case dismissed altogether.