Friday, October 21st, 2016

Drunk driving elsewhere


Colorado is contemplating a law change:

A state criminal-justice commission agreed Friday that repeat DUI offenders in Colorado must go to jail.
The commission endorsed a legislative proposal that would mandate a jail term of 10 days to a year for a second drunken-driving offense and 60 days to a year for third or subsequent offenses.

In addition, repeat offenders would face two years of supervision by probation officers and the threat of up to an additional year in jail for ignoring conditions of probation.

Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, the bill’s sponsor, said the lengthened probation and suspended jail provisions are intended to provide a potent incentive for counseling and treatment once an offender gets out of jail.

“The year is a deposit that the judge can draw against” if the offender ignores probation requirements, she said. “What we’re looking for is participation in alcohol treatment.”

The Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice decided it could not support a mandatory-jail proposal in December but agreed in January to take a look at a revised version. On Friday, 80 percent of voting members said they could support or live with Levy’s bill.

Its endorsement is likely to carry significant weight in the legislature because its members represent all facets of the judicial system: prosecutors and defense lawyers, judges, probation officers, legislators, counselors and crime victims.

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