Felony DUI / DWAI Responsible for State Prison Increase in Arapahoe County and Douglas County
Colorado state lawmakers learned recently that the previous trend toward decreasing Colorado prison populations has reversed. In the recent past, Department of Corrections population levels have been on the decline. Now, they are set to increase. Why? Unexpectedly, there has been a recent rise due to our new DUI / DWAI felony law in Arapahoe and Douglas County. Under that law, people who have had their fourth DUI are eligible for that charge to be made as a felony, with prison possible. Since the new felony law took effect in 2015, it is estimated that 500 men and women will now call DOC home. There is a total of 20,000 people in Colorado’s prisons. If someone has not done well in treatment and is likely to get another DUI, many judges will simply send them to prison to keep the public safe.
Felony = Prison for DUI / DWAI #4 or Greater in Denver and Jefferson County
Judges are in a tough spot when someone comes to them with a fourth DUI / DWAI. Why? Because the judges are not just charged with putting people in prison. The State of Colorado, Lakewood and Golden citizens can’t afford to put everyone in prison. There is a preference for trying to rehabilitate people and not cost the state $35,000 or so to keep them behind bars for a year. Plus, many judges truly care for people in trouble and want to set their lives on a different course. And, what if someone just goes to prison for a year or two and then gets out to commit another Driving Under the Influence in Denver and Jefferson County? Maybe this time, someone will be killed.
Prison for a Fourth DUI Felony in Adams and Weld County – Is This Realistic?
It is hard to argue that someone who just committed their fourth Adams County drinking and driving DUI / DWAI, after probation, jail time and counseling for offenses 1-3, will not commit another. Unless a judge hears that this last one was really different, they don’t have a lot of choice but to send someone to prison for community safety. Cars are heavy items which can quickly take the life of innocent people. Weld County DUI and DWAI offenses have the stigma of needing punishment by imprisonment following the 1st one. Give someone a break on the first, is the idea. After that, lock them up for a while to show them we mean business. By the time they hit #4, the idea is to protect, not rehabilitate.
If you are facing prison for any crime, including a felony DUI / DWAI, give us a call at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
Image Credit: Pixabay – Pexels