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Some DAs Frustrated With Lack Of Jail Time For Repeat DUI Offenders

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)- Some district attorneys are frustrated with the lack of jail time for repeat DUI offenders even after a new felony DUI law was put in place.

Doyle Carmack, 54, was arrested for his sixth DUI earlier this year in Aurora. Police body cameras captured the arrest.

Doyle Carmack (credit: Aurora Police)

Officer: How much have you had to drink tonight?

Carmack: Ugh... A couple of beers.

Officer: What's a couple of beers?

Carmack: A couple of beers.

Officer: I'm stopping you because you were having a lot of trouble staying in your lane.

Carmack: Yeah, I was speeding.

When prosecutors asked a judge to sentence Carmack to four years in community corrections, he received probation instead and no jail time.

DUI TESTING drunk driving
(credit: CBS)

In Jefferson County, Albert Torres was sentenced to work release during the day and spending nights in jail after he was repeatedly arrested for driving drunk.

Peter Cain received probation for his fourth DUI.

"These people are dangerous, they're going to hurt people and they're going to kill people. We have to get them out of our community," said Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir.

Weir said when Colorado's new DUI law made a driver's fourth DUI conviction a felony, it didn't go far enough to mandate jail time.

"It's extremely frustrating because you see individuals and we have specific cases of individuals with six, seven or eight prior alcohol convictions and they're still not going to prison," said Weir.

Criminal defense attorney Carrie Johnson said jail time isn't the way to keep repeat drunk drivers off the road.

DUI Checkpoint Drunk Driving
(credit: CBS)

"The research shows that actually by sending someone to prison, it can increase recidivism as opposed to reducing it," said Johnson.

Weir believes the debate will not resurface in the legislature next session and doesn't believe they would be able to get mandatory jail time sentences approved.

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