Colorado Receives Favorable Marks for Efforts In Reducing Drunk Driving Accidents

Daniel Noffsinger - Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has rated Colorado as one of the best states in the United States for reducing drunk driving fatalities. According to a recent report released by MADD, Colorado has received a five-star rating from MADD based on a system that looks at five different areas of countermeasures that can be taken to prevent drunk driving fatalities. The report is part of MADD’s Campaign To Eliminate Drunk Driving, which began in 2007 and involves MADD working with lawmakers and enforcement officials to create stronger drunk driving laws.

MADD uses its five-star system to rate the states’ efforts to end drunk driving fatalities, to keep the public safe on the roads, and to encourage the adoption of proven countermeasures. The five categories are:

  • Ignition interlock laws;
  • Sobriety checkpoints;
  • License revocation;
  • Child endangerment laws; and
  • No-refusal events.

Colorado received stars for the state’s efforts in each of the categories. In particular, the report praised the state for incentivizing the use of ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers by allowing a shorter license suspension period for those who elect to go on an interlock immediately following a drunk driving conviction. MADD believes that the state’s all-offender interlock requirement has partly contributed to reducing drunk driving deaths by 19%.

Governor Hopes to Pass Felony DUI Bill

Governor John Hickenlooper is hoping to reduce the number of accidents in Colorado and make the state’s roads safer. Earlier this month, during the Governor’s annual State of the State address, the Governor asked state lawmakers to pass stiffer drunk driving laws. Under Colorado’s current law, it is only a misdemeanor for anyone convicted of drunk driving if no one is hurt during the accident.

The Governor, however, wants to stiffen the penalty and is encouraging state lawmakers to pass House Bill 15-1043. The proposed legislation would make it a felony if someone is convicted of three DUIs within seven years. Furthermore, the legislation would increase the time period that convicted drunk drivers must keep interlock devices installed in their vehicles. The law currently requires only one year, but depending on the circumstances, a convicted drunk driver could be required to keep a device installed for a minimum of two years and as long as five years.

Currently, Colorado is one of four states in the United States that does not have a felony DUI law. The recently proposed legislation, however, is not the first time that lawmakers have tried to stiffen DUI penalties. In prior years, Republican lawmakers have proposed similar legislation. Democrats have stopped such efforts due to concerns about the potential costs to the state’s prison system as a result of housing more inmates. At his annual address, Gov. John Hickenlooper commented that “we must continue to focus our efforts on anti-drunk driving measures like intervention, rehabilitation, and active enforcement,” but also focus on adequate punishment.

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact a Colorado Springs Car Accident Attorney

Despite Colorado receiving favorable marks for its efforts to reduce drunk driving, these types of accidents still occur far too often. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident by a drunk or negligent driver, a Colorado Springs motorcycle accident attorney can help you recover damages. Contact a Colorado Springs accident attorney at Noffsinger Law LLC for a free initial consultation.