Grand Junction, COLO. After years of debate, Colorado joins most of the nation now, with toughened DUI laws. Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill on Monday that will crackdown on habitual DUI offenders. The law that goes into effect August 5th will make a fourth DUI a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of as much as $500,000.
Members of the senate, CSP, and supporters of this bill were at a ceremony in Wheat Ridge. In the crowd was Ellie Phipps, a Grand Junction woman whose life drastically changed after being hit by a drunk driver.
Phipps was severely injured and had to undergo numerous surgeries after her being hit by a six time DUI offender. While yesterday was a victory for her, Phipps says it's just the beginning.
“It is an exciting day for Colorado. We've worked very hard to pass this law and you know it's a little bittersweet though because there are a lot of families who have lost loved ones that we're not going to get back, but it does help for the future,” said Phipps.
Phipps says the governor thanked her for all her time and effort at the signing of the bill. She says she's starting to refocus and get her life back on track.
The bill has repeatedly failed in recent years because of concerns about increased costs to courts and prisons.