You probably already know that getting a DUI can seriously affect your life. But now Colorado has a new policy that can make the consequences of getting a DUI even more severe. In 2015, Colorado created the state’s first felony-level DUI policy.
However, this relatively new policy is confusing for some drivers. There have been approximately 1,000 of these arrests as of 2017 and the number will only increase. Here are answers to some common questions about this new law and what it means for drivers in Colorado today.
What is a felony DUI?
Under this new law, a driver can be arrested and charged with a felony DUI after committing a fourth or subsequent DUI. This means that if you are pulled over for a DUI with three previous charges, you can be arrested for a class four felony crime.
How much more severe is it than a regular DUI?
The penalties for a felony-level DUI are much harsher than a misdemeanor DUI. You could face up to six years in prison, up to 120 hours of community service and/or up to $500,000 in fines.
What people might not realize is that this level of penalty also classifies them as a felon. People charged with a felony DUI now have a criminal record. This can make it harder to find a job or rent property. It can also affect insurance rates. People charged with felonies also cannot purchase or own firearms and cannot vote during their incarceration.
According to the Coloradoan, lawmakers have yet to determine just how effective this new policy is as it is still relatively new. Regardless, the penalties of a felony DUI are life-changing and drivers may want to take extra care.