Most drivers in Colorado understand that causing a crash while under the influence of alcohol can lead to major criminal charges. If you hurt someone or cause a death, then the state will most certainly charge you with a felony offense that is more serious than a standard impaired driving charge.
Fewer drivers realize that you don’t have to get into a wreck for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge to turn into a felony offense. Under Colorado law, there is another aggravating factor that can increase the severity of the charges that you face and, therefore, the penalties that the state might assess against you.
Repeat offenders could face felony charges
Drunk driving is an offense with high rates of recidivism. Basically, after a first conviction, someone accused of a DUI is at high risk of getting pulled over and charged with the same offense again in the future.
The penalties that defendants increase with each charge, but eventually. The severity of the offense becomes more serious as well. If you already have three DUIs on your record, then the fourth could lead to a felony DUI charge. In that situation, the penalties you may face include:
- At least a 90-day in jail term
- A responsibility to complete specialty drunk driving education
- The loss of your license for two years
- At least 48 hours of community service
- The potential installation of an ignition interlock device in your car
Learning more about felony DUIs in Colorado can help you decide the best way to defend yourself in your case.