BILL SUMMARY for HB15-1043
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Refer House Bill 15-1043 to the Committee on Finan||PASS|
10:40 AM -- HB15-1043
Senator Roberts, chair, called the committee to order. Senator Johnston and Senator Cooke, co-prime sponsors, presented House Bill 15-1043, concerning penalties for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenders. Senator Johnston discussed his reasons for sponsoring the bill, and explained specific provisions of the bill. Senator Cooke explained his reasons for sponsoring the bill.
Senator Roberts explained the procedures for public testimony.
10:50 AM -- Mr. Jay Tiftickjian, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Tiftickjian stated that the bill solely focused on punishment, and did not include provisions for treatment or other prevention measures. He also discussed existing DUI courts and how those courts may be used to treat repeat offenders.
10:53 AM -- Ms. Kimberly Podsedek, representing herself, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Podsedek discussed her experiences as a repeat DUI offender, including testing, class work, monitoring, and jail time. She also discussed what she believes are failures in the current system to treat repeat offenders.
10:57 AM -- Ms. Deb Grenzke, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Grenzke discussed an incident where her son was harmed by a repeat DUI offender in an automobile accident. She also explained the costs incurred by victims in DUI accidents. Ms. Grenzke discussed her efforts to enact legislation related to repeat DUI offenses.
11:00 AM -- Mr. Gary Grenzke, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Grenzke stated that, under the bill, jail time is a last resort punishment and that it would affect less than one percent of the drunk drivers in Colorado. He also discussed the costs associated with DUI offenses.
In response to a committee question, the Grenzkes discussed their son's health.
11:05 AM -- Mr. Tom Raynes, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Raynes discussed the opposition to the bill, and stated that the bill focused on repeat offenders. He stated that the bill focuses on punishment, and that it was okay to punish repeat DUI offenders.
11:07 AM -- Ms. Jennifer Knudsen, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, made herself available for questions. There were no questions.
11:08 AM -- Mr. Fran Lanzer, representing Mothers Against Drunk Driving, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Lanzer stated that the bill gives prosecutors and judges options to deal with repeat drunk drivers. Mr. Lanzer provided information relating to DUI arrests and discussed treatment options both currently used and under the bill. Mr. Lanzer also provided information concerning the effects of similar bills passed in other states. In response to a question, Mr. Lanzer provided information relating to DUI arrests in Colorado and how he would like the state to evaluate the bill if it is enacted.
Senator Cooke commented on how to measure the success of the bill, if enacted. Senator Johnston commented on the information provided by Mr. Lanzer, and stated that the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers has increased.
11:17 AM -- Mr. Frank Martinez, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Martinez discussed a family member who was killed by a drunk driver, and his concern for other families that have been, or may be, harmed by a drunk driver. He stated that repeat offenders should be punished.
11:20 AM -- Ms. Alma Sanchez, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Sanchez discussed the death of her cousin caused by a drunk driver. She stated that once a person has had three or four DUI arrests, it was unlikely that rehabilitation would be effective, and that they were not following the law. She stated that DUI offenders would end up in jail when they killed or harmed someone, and that people should be incarcerated prior to harming another person.
11:22 AM -- Ms. Joselyn Varghese, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Varghese discussed the economic impact of repeat DUI offenders, and provided information related to DUI offenses.
11:25 AM -- Mr. Dave Hall, representing the Colorado State Patrol and Governor John Hickenlooper, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Hall provided information about the Colorado State Patrol's arrests that are DUI related. He also stated that Governor Hickenlooper supports the bill.
11:27 AM -- Ms. Ellie Phipps, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Phipps discussed her experiences being hit by a drunk driver, including physical injuries. She distributed an x-ray to the committee. She stated that the man who caused the accident had six prior arrests for DUI. She also discussed the costs associated with the accident. Ms. Phipps stated that such drivers should be removed from the road. In response to a question, Ms. Phipps discussed the punishments for the man who caused the automobile accident.
Senator Cooke provided closing remarks on the bill, including a discussion of testimony offered during the hearing, and a discussion of an incident where he was in an automobile accident caused by a repeat DUI offender. Senator Johnston discussed specific incidents involving drunk driving, and asked for the committee's support.
Committee members discussed their positions on the bill.
|TIME: || 11:46:59 AM|
|MOTION:||Refer House Bill 15-1043 to the Committee on Finance. The motion passed on a vote of 5-0.|
Final YES: 5 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
The committee adjourned.