It’s quite common for people to drive with a suspended license, despite the fact that it is illegal to do so. Recently, in Colorado, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News and 9News analyzed electronic court records and noticed that one in every four drivers in Colorado who are arrested for a DUI have a suspended license.
When you get arrested for a DUI on an already suspended license, you typically face additional charges and have to undergo a longer probation period and license suspension.
Rocky Mountain PBS I-News and 9News also discovered that a fifth of these people who were arrested for a DUI on a suspended license had originally gotten their license suspended due to a previous DUI.
On March 24, in Aurora, Colorado, Ever Olivos-Gutierrez got into a DUI accident, taking the life of a high school senior. Olivos-Gutierrez was unlicensed at the time and had two previous DUIs under his belt.
On that same day, March 24, ten other drivers in the state were arrested for a DUI. Five of these drivers had their licenses suspended due to previous DUIs.
An average of 15 DUI offenders are arrested a day who have previous license suspensions in Colorado. Three DUI offenders a day in Colorado with suspended licenses have had their license suspended due to previous DUI arrests.
Fran Lanzer, an executive of the Colorado chapter of MADD, stated that people continue to rely on their cars, despite getting their licenses suspended.
“We live in a society where people need to drive regardless of whether they are on a suspended license,” she stated. “You still have to go to work. You have to pick up the kids.”
While the Legislature turned down a bill earlier this year that would’ve made a third DUI a penalty, Lanzer stated that a new ignition interlock bill could help combat this statewide issue.
The law would allow first-time DUI offenders to get their license back 30 days after their DUI arrest if they install an ignition interlock. An ignition interlock is a device that you plug into your car. In order to start your car, you must blow into the device. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, your car will not start.
“We know people continue to drive anyway, so we prefer them to drive with an ignition interlock in their car,” Lanzer stated.
Source: Cortez Journal