3/17/2008

Punishing Drunk Drivers

This past Friday HB08-1194 passed through the House Appropriations Committee and will now go on to a full vote of the House. HB1194 would, if passed, require convicted drunk drivers to install an interlock device in their car for nine months following the conviction. The measure would also increase fees for reinstatement of drivers licenses. The goal is to deter drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. Under current law, a first-time offender loses their license for a period of months, and the more DUIs, the longer their license is revoked. However, it is well known that many of these offenders continue to drive, though now without a license. By the passage of HB1194, the period of license revocation would be shortened so that the offender is free to drive legally -- provided they have the ignition interlock device in their car. The interlock device measures a driver's blood alcohol content by blowing into a tube. If the driver has a high BAC, the car will not start. Additionally, periodic random tests are required while the car is in operation to insure drivers to not imbibe while driving. Supporters of the bill believe that this is a way for offenders to drive legally, while possibly teaching new habits about driving while drunk, and making the roads safer for everyone.

The Colorado Office of Legislative Legal Services, which provides legal interpretation and writing of bills, prepared a fact sheet on Colorado's current drunk driving laws, which you can view here. You can also search our catalog using the keyword "drunk driving" for many other documents on state drunk driving laws.

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