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House GOP Newsletter  
February 02, 2015  Like

♦Now is the time to pass felony DUI House GOP Press Releases  

In the News  Tweets of the Week  Capitol Pictures

Now is the time to pass felony DUI

By Representative Lori Saine (R-Firestone)

Would you believe that in Colorado a person with ten DUI convictions could receive the same sentence as someone with three? Would you believe that in Colorado, the strongest sentence a person convicted of 14 DUIs can receive is a year in county jail? And would you believe Colorado is one of four states that do not have a felony DUI conviction? Disturbingly, each of these statements is true and supports our need to establish a felony DUI law in Colorado.

This year I am carrying a bill that would give district attorneys the ability to prosecute a third DUI in seven years or a fourth in a lifetime as a Class 4 felony. You may have heard about similar bills in the past – this is actually the fourth time in six years Republicans have tried to pass legislation creating a felony DUI sentence. Opponents of this legislation have said the cost is too high and that not enough emphasis is put on addiction treatment. However, given the cost Colorado families have already endured by habitual DUI offenders, Colorado cannot wait any longer to pass this critical legislation.

Let me first address the cost of adding a felony DUI sentence in Colorado. Incarcerating habitual drunk drivers will indeed have a fiscal impact, but one that Colorado can afford.  Public safety must be a top priority under any circumstances, especially when we have the available resources.

In addition to concerns about the cost, opponents to a felony DUI law have stated we need to focus on treatment rather than incarceration. Yet, before we advocate for treatment in lieu of stronger laws, we need to consider the current treatment programs. After two convictions, and in most situations one, state statutes mandate an alcohol evaluation and corresponding treatment. The state has different levels of severity and tracks of treatment based on each offender's unique evaluation and circumstances. Depending on the mandated treatment, offenders may be required to submit random alcohol tests, attend dozens of classes and meet with alcohol counselors. Simply put, a person convicted of a third DUI would have had numerous opportunities to address their addictions. Furthermore, if a person is incarcerated in prison, the Department of Corrections offers many of the same treatment options but with greater consistency and intensity.

This year, I am pleased the governor and other Democrats have finally joined Republicans in supporting this legislation. Hopefully this year we can take a step forward by giving district attorneys the tools they need to get habitual drunk drivers out of the driver's seat. My bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee this Thursday, February 5th at 1:30pm. We appreciate you taking the time to read our newsletter and encourage you to address concerns with your respective representative. You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or visiting www.coloradohousegop.com.

Sincerely,

Lori Saine

House Press Releases

In the News

 Tweets of the Week  

Jon Keyser @Jon_Keyser

Congrats to @LangSias - newly minted fellow Rep. from JeffCo. Looking forward to serving with you. #copolitics #coleg

Military day at the Capitol. I'm proud to have served you. pic.twitter.com/FWWHYbiqAl

Educator Tax Deduction passes Finance Cmmttee but 2 #Democrats don't see educator value! #COpolitics #COleg #edcolo clarice47.com/news/105-repre…

Capitol Pictures

Representative Clarice Navarro (R-Pueblo) speaking about her resolution during Military Appreciation Day recognizing the bravery and sacrifice of the crew of the U.S.S. Pueblo and calling on North Korea to return the vessel that they have possessed since January 23, 1968.

Representative Windholz talking about her bill regarding the delay of sale for Powdered Alcohol.

Representative Windholz (R-Commerce City) talking about her bill regarding the delay of sale for Powdered Alcohol.

Representative Libby Szabo spent her last day as a member of the house before being sworn in as Jefco County Commissioner.

Representative Libby Szabo spent her last day as a member of the House before being sworn in as Jeffco County Commissioner.

You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or visiting ColoradoHouseGOP.com.

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