It’s ironic how some Democrats instantly become fiscal conservatives when they don’t want to do something, like punish repeat offenders who insist on getting behind the wheel of a car, drunk, and kill or maim people.

It’s not the drunk’s fault, Democrats whine. They have an addiction; they just need a hug and go to rehab. And besides, it costs too much money to enforce the law.

Those bleeding hearts ran dry and brittle after Frank Martinez testified about his nephew and two grand-nephews, ages six and one, who were killed last month in a driving accident after church. The drunk driver who killed them had eight prior DUI arrests, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

Liberal do-gooders are cold as a stone, even after this testimony earlier this month in front of the House Judiciary Committee, also reported by the Gazette:

Ellie Phipps, 49, a Grand Junction resident, told lawmakers she was going to the gym on a Saturday morning three years ago when she was hit by someone with six prior DUIs. Phipps suffered major injuries to her spine and she is still walking with a support brace around her midsection. Her rehab continues, she said.

Increasing the penalty for repeat DUI offenders was a priority of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner when he was in the State House in 2010, but his bill was blocked by the penny-pinching Democrats.

 “There’s a way we can pay for this right now and that’s simply by saying, ‘Hey let’s save less than one percent in each state agency,’” said Gardner.

Now the Denver Post reports that Gov. Hickenlooper, who touted the proposal in his State of the State address, has failed to persuade his own party to back the bill.

Its prospects are further complicated by criticism that it is merely a political statement that would do little to improve public safety.

Merely a political statement? Being one of only four states in the union without a felony DUI law, that’s a political statement.

Being slapped on the wrist for a fourth DUI misdemeanor conviction and spending up to 12 months in jail is a political statement.

Sending a habitual DUI driver to jail for two to six years because they ran over someone — that improves public safety by preventing them from killing another victim.

We hope the legislature will learn to separate politics from public safety, and do what’s right to keep Coloradans safe from habitual drunks intent on getting behind the wheel of a car.