Earlier this month, House Bill 14-1158, which would have mandated prison sentences for any person convicted of DUI vehicular assault or homicide, was killed. According to 9News, legislative staff estimated that the bill would cost the state $146,000 in the upcoming year, but closer to $2.5 million during the following two fiscal years as the mandated prison sentences began being served.
Probation in such cases is already a fairly rare event. A recent study by the legislative staff turned up only eight qualifying defendants who had been sentenced to probation, while an estimated 88 such defendants were currently serving prison sentences.
Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) stated that there was a feeling that the bill had been introduced simply because it was an election year and that it represented the use of a particular set of victims as pawns in political gamesmanship. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Polly Lawrence (R-Littleton), expressed shock that the bill was not seen as a funding priority and promised to pursue the same provisions in the future.