House Bill 1214 is up for consideration in Colorado. This bill aims to mandate a felony charge for the third DUI/DWAI offense, regardless of the circumstances. This Bill will further remove discretion from our court system and should not be passed. It has been defeated in the past due to the costs of enforcement and lack of space in the jails. However, it seems there are now empty beds in  the jails, which should be a good thing, unfortunately it has been used as a signal to the legislators that new laws to increase incarceration are needed to fill them. The representative that introduced the Bill states that Colorado is one of five states that do not have a felony penalty for repeat offenders. This is much like saying, we should do this because everyone else is. We are also one of two states that has legalized marijuana, did we do that because everyone else is? I hope that citizens stand up and make their voices heard on this issue because we shouldn't pass new laws because everyone else has them.

The real problem with this mentality is that everyone that has been convicted of a DWAI or DUI was driving or actually causing a safety risk to the community. This is often not the case in Colorado. Another problem is that a DWAI is a .05 - .07 BAC level, which for me is one drink. These laws need to be equal for all drivers, not discriminating against people that drink. If a driver is observed driving poorly and creating a safety hazard, they should be ticketed and removed from the road - equal treatment for all drivers. Most fatal accidents are caused by people that have a .000 BAC level.

Colorado residents write your representatives to make your voice heard and ask for equality among drivers. No on House Bill 1214.

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_22648886/colorado-needs-felony-dui-law
 
Pot smokers are finally feeling realizing the ridiculousness of the blood content (BC) laws. Washington smokers are scared about being criminalized for using a legal substance because of the arbitrary BC law that is in effect – 5 nanograms per milliliter of THC is legally under the influence and leads to a criminal conviction. Welcome to the alcohol world! They say it is wrong because the substance is legal and stays in the system long after use, affects people differently, and is a way for government to prohibit use – does any of this sound familiar? It is peculiar that these same people believe that marijuana should be treated differently because it is safer than alcohol. Wake up pot smokers, no one cares, alcohol has been legal for many years and the prohibitionist’s have a strong movement in place that has made it essentially illegal to use. Sure you can still purchase it from a store in most areas, but do not walk, drive, ride a bike, go boating or rafting, ride a horse or use any type of transportation under your control after consuming a beer or alcoholic beverage because that’s illegal. People that drink often or are addicts will always have a BAC level whether or not they are intoxicated at the time and they have built up a tolerance which makes them less impaired than someone that does not drink often. An additional concern among pot smokers is that the laws do not take into account the size, tolerance and metabolism of the individual. The misinformation, inflated numbers and negative propaganda has created the same problem for alcohol that marijuana has had to overcome. Whether you prefer to use pot or alcohol is a personal choice, the fact is that law enforcement should be held accountable for proving that there was a driving impairment that prompted them to pull over the vehicle. This is not the case in
  Colorado, you do not need to be driving or operating the transportation in question – only the ability to do so, and as Washington is finding your rights are stripped away in court once the BC level is broken. There is no defense if
  they have a breath or blood sample that is in excess of the limit which is .05 in Colorado. When it’s a secondary offense found after the vehicle is pulled over – a license plate light out, expired tags, and similar circumstances - it
  should not subject the victim/driver to arrest and additional charges of driving while impaired – because there’s no evidence of driving impairment. 
 
Americans for Fair Legislation will submit a letter to several legislators to present the facts and recommend a common sense approach to this problem. It will be posted on the web site, please help us make a change by writing to your representatives and requesting reasonable laws that focus on driving impairment. Links to find them are provided below, they will be reviewing these laws in January 2013.

Write your congress representative
Write your state legislator and governor
 
"In Washington, police still have to observe signs of impaired driving before pulling someone over, Coon said. The blood would be drawn by a medical professional, and tests above 5 nano grams would automatically subject
the driver to a DUI conviction."

In Colorado they don't have to observe signs of impairment to prosecute a DUI case. It can be a secondary finding
during a routine traffic stop. So what do we do with this problematic DUI law? In the article that the quite above was pulled from, Colorado Republican Sen. Steve King states, ""I believe a 5-nanogram limit will save lives," he is a
sponsor of previous driving-high bills. Well what does that mean exactly? They are now going to require blood draws when police officers suspect an individual is impaired (because they don't have to be driving here)? This is ridiculous,
the link provided below will take you to the full article - this nonsense has got to stop!

With pot legal in 2 states, police worry about road safety