Prosecutors wanted a four-year jail sentence for Doyle Carmack, a 54-year-old Aurora man who was just convicted of his sixth charge of driving under the influence.
He got probation instead.
Doyle Carmack, 54, of Aurora, was arrested in March and assessed with a blood-alcohol level of 0.235, just about triple the legal definition of “drunk,” according to District Attorney George Brauchler’s office.
Carmack pleaded guilty to a felony charge of driving under the influence, making his third felony DUI, according to the DA’s office. One of those earlier charges netted him a three-year prison sentence, the office stated.
This time, the sentence was five years of probation and 75 hours of community service, and not “even one night in jail,” as the prosecutors put it. The sentence was decided by a judge.
Brauchler attributed the lighter sentence to “the trend in the legislature to strip away mandatory minimum sentences from our most serious charges.”
Interestingly, Colorado has only had felony DUIs for about a year. They’re punishable by up to six years in prison, the Denver Post reported.
Now, the argument against a long prison sentence is that it costs the taxpayers more money – the new felony law was projected to rack up about $20 million in costs over three years – while not necessarily solving the problem.
Previous studies cited by federal researchers, including one in Colorado, have generally found little evidence that jail sentences stopped people from driving drunk again.
Of course, the prosecutor’s point here seems to be that someone who has endangered others this many times deserves some punishment, and that the sentence fell far short of what is allowed by the new state law.