Felony DUI Soon to Be Law

Local News
DENVER, Colo.– To a smattering of applause from members of the public watching the vote, senators passed HB1043 on a vote of 34-1.

The vote concluded work on the measure to create felony penalties for habitual DUI offenders, a measure that has repeatedly failed in recent years because of concerns about increased costs to courts and prisons.

Grand Junction resident Ellie Phipps was struck by a seven time drunk driver on her way to the gym back in 2012.
She sustained injuries resulting in permanent spinal damage and other disabilities that require surgeries to this day.
She told News Channel 5 that although she is relieved by the outcome of this bill, it is a very bittersweet victory.

“My heart goes out to the families that are there today. We are very happy it passed but we all know their going to go home to an empty place at the table and it is very bitter sweet, but we are pleased with this outcome,” said Phipps.

The bill, in which Governor Hickenlooper said he will sign into law, makes a person’s fourth DUI a felony and results in a two to six year prison term.

Analysts at the Capitol estimate about 1,800 people each year in Colorado get charged for their fourth or higher number DUI.

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