Overreaction in Colorado DUI Proposal

By Mary Ann

Colorado Representative Joel Judd has proposed an extreme DUI measure to reduce drunk driving after a driver hit and killed a mother and her two children in Denver. Under Judd’s DUI law, first-time DUI offenders, regardless of BAC, would lose their driver’s license for five years unless they agreed to addiction treatment and to putting an ignition interlock in their car. A driver convicted of DUI must keep the interlock in his car for five years.

Second time DUI offenders would lose their driver’s license for twenty years or install an interlock for two decades.

As with many DUI proposals, Judd’s law disregards the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver. Being stopped with a BAC of 0.08 does not necessarily indicate an alcohol addiction. Many states are instituting Extreme DUI laws (BAC over 0.15-0.20 depending on the state) to combat the drivers who cause most injuries and deaths. Judd’s law ignores findings that most injuries and deaths are caused by drivers with a BAC over 0.15, but rather, punishes every DUI offender equally. When having two drinks in a hour can cause a BAC over the legal limit for DUI of 0.08, any DUI law needs to differentiate between the careless and the reckless driver.

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