Thursday, March 29, 2007

DUI Test Bill Going to Governor

Senate Bill 154, which will require drivers suspected of DUI to take a different chemical test from the one they choose if an officer is unable to administer the original choice of test, has been approved by the General Assembly and is expected to be signed by Governor Ritter. Current Colorado law requires that, if a driver suspected of DUI elects a specific chemical test of his/her blood or breath, then that test must be administered. Under the new law, if a driver elects a specific test that cannot be administered through no fault of law enforcement, an officer can require the driver to complete a different type of test--refusal to complete the substitute test would result in a one-year suspension of the driver's license. This bill was introduced following the Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in Turbyne v. People, discussed below.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

DUI Bill Rejected by House Judiciary Committee

HB1189, discussed below, was defeated in the House Judiciary Committee March 7. The bill, which would have mandated interlock devices on vehicles driven by those convicted of DUI/DWAI and greatly increased driver's license suspensions following such convictions, lost on a 7-4 vote. The failure of this bill does not spell the end of the effort to change Colorado's DUI laws--a state "DUI Task Force" commissioned by the General Assembly is expected to make recommendations later this year on how to improve the current DUI statutes, most of which have been in place for over twenty years.