FORT COLLINS COLORADOAN - When Colorado lawmakers established the state's first felony penalty for driving under the influence in 2015, they did so without reaching consensus on how the new law's success would be measured.
More than 1,000 arrests later, that remains the case as debate continues over the pros, cons and inconsistencies in the law's enforcement.
The new law carries harsher potential penalties, including the possibility of a prison sentence, for anyone arrested for driving under the influence or alcohol or drugs who already has three or more DUI convictions on their criminal record. In 2016, the first full year the felony DUI law was in effect, it was charged 78 times in Larimer County and 88 times in Weld County.
Previously, a DUI conviction, regardless of how many a person had previously acquired, meant a misdemeanor penalty punishable by no more than a year in jail. There were approximately 3,200 misdemeanor DUI-related filings last year in Larimer County.
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