(May 29) – Among the 73 bills signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday was Rep. Dave Young’s measure to expand the number of DUI violators classified as persistent drunk drivers.

HB13-1240 lowers the blood alcohol content threshold for a person to be considered a persistent drunk driver from 0.17 BAC to 0.15 BAC, and adds to the persistent drunk driver list those whose licenses are revoked for refusing a BAC test.

The new law also requires a persistent drunk driver to use an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle for one year after their driver’s license has been reinstated, and allows those who have had their licenses revoked for one year for DUI to apply for reinstatement after one month, provided they have an interlock device and are over 21. Those who refuse a breathalyzer would have to wait for two months before applying for an interlock device.

“Persistent drunk drivers are agents of death on our roads and highways,” said Rep. Young (D-Greeley). “We have to do everything we can to reduce the mayhem they cause. This is smart policy that will make our roads safer for all Colorado drivers.”

The bill had support from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Interagency Task Force on Drunk Driving. Several members of the task force worked hard to negotiate the bill and support it with testimony throughout the legislative process. Sponsored by Sen. Steve King (R-Grand Junction) in the Senate, it passed with sweeping bipartisan support in both chambers.

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