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CRS 42-4-1301.4

Colorado Useful Public Service – Definitions – Local Programs – Assessment of Costs

Colorado revised statute 42-4-1301.4—known as useful public service – definitions – local programs – assessment of costs, discusses the community service that is required for those convicted of a DUI charge. All DUI convictions include community service as a penalty, so this statute defines useful public service and how these services are determined.

Let’s face it. Life happens.

No one wants to get in trouble, but when it happens, what do you do?

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, the best decision you can make is to
hire a good criminal defense attorney. With the right defense lawyer in your corner, you
will be advised and guided towards the best outcome for your case.

How is Useful Public Service Determined?

CRS 42-4-1301.4 defines a “useful public service” as any act that is helpful to the public and requires minimum cost or supervision. These services are not to harm or endanger the defendant. The statute requires that the sentencing court, the probation department, the county sheriff, and the board of county commissioners shall cooperate in identifying  suitable community service assignments. The court will also set a deadline by which the community service must be completed. Each judicial county in the state may have a useful public service program under the leadership of the chief probation officer. They must come up with public service jobs that convicted defendants can pursue. In El Paso County, defendant must register with Front Range Community Services in order to complete their community service requirements.

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 42-4-1301.4:

42-4-1301.4: useful public service – definitions – local programs – assessment of costs:

(1) This section applies to any person convicted of a violation of section 42-4-1301 and who is ordered to complete useful public service.

(2)(a) For the purposes of this section and section 42-4-1301, “useful public service” means any work that is beneficial to the public and involves a minimum of direct supervision or other public cost. “Useful public service” does not include any work that would endanger the health or safety of any person convicted of a violation of any of the offenses specified in section 42-4-1301.

(b) The sentencing court, the probation department, the county sheriff, and the board of county commissioners shall cooperate in identifying suitable work assignments. An offender sentenced to such work assignment shall complete the same within the time established by the court.

(3)(a) There may be established in the probation department of each judicial district in the state a useful public service program under the direction of the chief probation officer. It is the purpose of the useful public service program: To identify and seek the cooperation of governmental entities and political subdivisions thereof, as well as corporations organized not for profit or charitable trusts, as specified in subsection (3)(c) of this section, for the purpose of providing useful public service jobs; to interview and assign persons who have been ordered by the court to perform useful public service to suitable useful public service jobs; and to monitor compliance or noncompliance of such persons in performing useful public service assignments within the time established by the court.

(b) Nothing in this subsection (3) limits the authority of an entity that is the recipient of community or useful public service to accept or reject such service, in its sole discretion.

(c) In addition to governmental entities and political subdivisions thereof, the following organizations are eligible to provide community or useful public service jobs established under this section or any other provision of law so long as they meet any other requirement related to the provision of those jobs, as established by the entity that is the recipient of community or useful public service:

(I) A charitable trust or other organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501 (c)(3) of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended;

(II) A civic league or organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501 (c)(4) of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended, and that also would qualify as a veterans’ service organization as defined in section 501 (c)(19) of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended; and

(III) A veterans’ service organization that is exempt from taxation under section 501 (c)(19) of the federal “Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, as amended.

(4)(a) Any general public liability insurance policy obtained pursuant to this section shall be in a sum of not less than the current limit on government liability under the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act”, article 10 of title 24, C.R.S.

(b) For the purposes of the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act”, article 10 of title 24, C.R.S., “public employee” does not include any person who is sentenced pursuant to section 42-4-1301 to participate in any type of useful public service.

(c) No governmental entity shall be liable under the “Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado”, articles 40 to 47 of title 8, C.R.S., or under the “Colorado Employment Security Act”, articles 70 to 82 of title 8, C.R.S., for any benefits on account of any person who is sentenced pursuant to section 42-4-1301 to participate in any type of useful public service, but nothing in this paragraph (c) shall prohibit a governmental entity from electing to accept the provisions of the “Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado” by purchasing and keeping in force a policy of workers’ compensation insurance covering such person.

(5) In accordance with section 42-4-1307 (14), in addition to any other penalties prescribed in this part 13, the court shall assess an amount, not to exceed one hundred twenty dollars, upon any person required to perform useful public service. Such amount shall be used by the operating agency responsible for overseeing such person’s useful public service program to pay the cost of administration of the program, a general public liability policy covering such person, and, if such person will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance pursuant to paragraph (c) of subsection (4) of this section or an insurance policy providing such or similar coverage, the cost of purchasing and keeping in force such insurance coverage. Such amount shall be adjusted from time to time by the general assembly in order to ensure that the useful public service program established in this section shall be financially self-supporting. The proceeds from such amounts shall be used by the operating agency only for defraying the cost of personal services and other operating expenses related to the administration of the program and the cost of purchasing and keeping in force policies of general public liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, or insurance providing such or similar coverage and shall not be used by the operating agency for any other purpose.

(6) The provisions of this section relating to the performance of useful public service are also applicable to any defendant who receives a diversion in accordance with section 18-1.3-101, C.R.S., or who receives a deferred sentence in accordance with section 18-1.3-102, C.R.S., and the completion of any stipulated amount of useful public service hours to be completed by the defendant shall be ordered by the court in accordance with the conditions of such deferred prosecution or deferred sentence as stipulated to by the prosecution and the defendant.

The Importance of Useful Public Service in Colorado

Since DUI convictions typically includes community service as part of the defendant’s penalties, learning about useful public services in Colorado is important. The purpose of community service is to give back to the community after committing an illegal act that endangers other people.  Useful public service helps the local community and is also designed to discourage defendants from driving while intoxicated in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some other penalties for DUIs in Colorado?

While community service is required for DUI convictions, jail time, fines, and license revocation or suspension are other common penalties for this crime.

Are there fees that are required for community service hours in Colorado?

According to CRS 42-4-1301.4, the courts will assess an amount not exceeding $120 for any person who must perform community service hours. This amount will be used to fund the person’s useful public service, such as to pay for joining a community service program. In El Paso County, defendants must sign up with Front Range Community Services for a fee of about $70.

How many hours of community service are required for DUI convictions in Colorado?

You must complete 48–96 hours of community service for a first-time DUI offense. A second and third offense requires you to complete 48–120 hours of service.