Case in point? A suspected Colorado drunk driver with eight prior driving under the influence (DUI) arrests was involved in a two-vehicle crash recently that took his life and the lives of an entire family. The truck he was driving crossed the center line and plowed into a Honda minivan, and out of the 5 people involved, only one survived.
It’s a tragic outcome that happens all too often because of repeat offenders, and it’s a case that should stand out when lawmakers sit down and take a look at repeat offender laws in Colorado. The current law states that if you have 3 or more DUI or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) convictions in the state, you’ll receive up to one year in prison, pay fines up to $1,500, lose your driver’s license for 2 years, and be required to install an ignition interlock device.
In contrast, states like Florida with even harsher repeat offender laws will send offenders to jail for up to 5 years if the offense occur with a 10 year period, they will have their vehicle impounded for 90 days, and for a fourth conviction, they will lose their license permanently with no hope of receiving a hardship license.
More and more states are signing all offender ignition interlock bills to stop first offenders from becoming repeat offenders, and it’s working – statistics show that ignition interlock devices reduce the likelihood that drunk drivers will drive intoxicated again by 67%. That’s a lot of potential lives saved, all because the power of choice is taken away from someone who constantly makes the decision to drink and drive.