According to local news sources in Denver, law enforcement officers arrested 49-year-old Dan Brooks on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Media reports indicate that officers observed Brooks drinking what appeared to be alcohol while sitting in the driver’s seat of his pickup truck, and the officers subsequently stopped him when he attempted to drive away. Police officers reported that the truck smelled of alcohol and they located a bottle of whiskey and other alcoholic beverages in the truck. After he allegedly failed field sobriety tests, Brooks was placed under arrest on suspicion of DUI.
This experience was not a new one for Brooks, who reportedly has faced 12 different charges of DUI or DWAI (driving while ability impaired) since his first one in 1986. In addition to multiple convictions, he also has a conviction for vehicular assault related to a DUI.
Penalties increase for multiple DUIs
Though Colorado does not have a felony charge for multiple DUIs, prosecutors and lawmakers are using arrests like the one above to argue in favor of a proposed felony DUI bill being heard by a statehouse committee on February 5. Though bills like this one have failed in the past, bipartisan legislative support is rumored to be greater in 2015 than ever before.
Though Brooks will not face felony charges, he may face penalties for being a “habitual offender.” Habitual offender counts are intended to provide more severe punishments to individuals who engage in repeated criminal activity and, therefore, allow a court to enhance the sentence above the usual for the underlying charge. Because there is currently no felony DUI charge, prosecutors often try to use the habitual criminal sentencing law to secure longer and more severe sentences for individuals with multiple DUI convictions already on their records. Anyone with three or more DUI convictions can face habitual offender sentencing for any subsequent charges.
Even if you do not have enough convictions on your record to qualify as a habitual criminal, the potential penalties for DUI still increase with each subsequent charge. For example for a 2nd DUI, you will likely spend at least a minimum of 10 days in jail and up to one year. You will likely face a significantly longer license revocation, mandatory alcohol abuse treatment, more community service, longer probation, higher fines, and more. These sentences will likely only become more severe if the legislature is successful in enacting a felony DUI law in our state in the near future.
Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in Denver today
Whether you have been arrested for the first time or have multiple DUI convictions on your criminal record, it is always highly important to consult with an experienced Denver DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. You always want to avoid having a conviction on your record whenever possible, and a skilled attorney from the Tiftickjian Law Firm can provide an aggressive defense to help eliminate or at least limit the consequences you face. Call today at (303) DUI-5280 to discuss your case.