Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Amended Consent Search Bill Passes House

An amended version of HB10-1201, referenced below, has been approved by the Colorado House and will now be considered by the State Senate. The bill, which requires that consent searches of a person or vehicle be made only after a verbal advisement that consent does not have to be given and that any consent given be in writing, was amended to remove homes as an area for consent searches covered by this law. Current law does not require any kind of advisement or that consent be in writing in order to be valid under the law. Rather, the only constitutional requirements for valid consent are that it be voluntary and that consent be granted by a person with apparent authority to grant the consent.

Attempt to Make Third DUI a Felony Fails

HB10-1184, sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-63), which would have made a third lifetime DUI conviction a felony in Colorado, has been killed by the Colorado House Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote. Gardner's bill would have made a third DUI conviction a class six felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The chief opposition to the legislation lay with its increased cost of adding new inmates to an already-inadequate state felony corrections system. Many states have had similar laws for several years.

HB10-1347, sponsored by Rep. Claire Levy (D-13), which would increase mandatory jail penalties and limit alternative jail sentences for repeat DUI offenders, has yet to be heard in the State House Judiciary Committee.