COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – After 10 DUI convictions a Colorado driver is going to prison.
William Nance, 53, is one of the first in the state to be sentenced under Colorado’s new felony DUI law. Prosecutors say the case shows why the law was put in place. Had the bill already been in place, Nance would have been looking at prison time years ago.
Nance was sentenced to three years behind bars.
“Quite frankly he’s the poster child for this type of crime,” 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May said. “He actually hit another car on the road. While nobody was hurt, it is a huge public safety issue.”
Nearly a year ago, after much debate and emotional testimony from families impacted by repeat drunk drivers, lawmakers passed the bill making a fourth DUI a felony. In June Gov. John Hickenlooper made it law.
While several counties are prosecuting a number of felony DUIs, May says Nance is the first in his district to be sentenced to prison. With at least 40 more cases currently pending in El Paso County alone, it likely won’t be the last.
“There’s no question we are trying to get a deterrent effect out there. That’s the whole idea, is that you are not going to face the same penalties. You are now seen as a felony and we’re recognizing how dangerous you are on the roads,” May said.
May says those who have three prior DUIs before or after the law passed will qualify for a felony, and it doesn’t matter if it’s in Colorado or in another state.