DENVER (CBS4) – A bill that would have meant a felony conviction for people repeatedly caught driving drunk died in the state Senate on Tuesday.

The bill would have made a third DUI in five years or fourth in 15 years a felony.

Some Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union argued treatment, not prison, should be the focus for offenders.

“For the first two offenses the focus is treatment, we do try to get these folks better. But at some point the priority has to be the lives we’re endangering as opposed to the alcoholics that we’re trying to heal,” said Tom Raynes form the Colorado District Attorney’s Council.

“About 131 people lost lives in alcohol related traffic accidents last year. When are we going to make them a priority? I’m incredibly disappointed that Senate President Morgan Carroll has decided this isn’t a priority,” said Rep. Mark Waller.

Colorado is one of only four states where no matter how many times someone is caught drunk driving, it’s a misdemeanor punishable by at most a year in the county jail.


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