Colorado DUI - Driving Suspensions

Colorado Automatic Drivers Licenses Restraint

Question: Is there an automatic driver's license suspension for DUI in Colorado? Answer: No unless you fail to request a hearing. What most people call a "driver's license suspension" the Colorado DMV calls an "Express Consent (EC) license revocation." The Colorado Department of Revenue, DMV has sole authority to revoke driver's licenses for DUI. Hearings may be requested in person at 1881 Pierce Street, Lakewood, Colorado 80217 or your attorney can request a hearing for you.

Your license may be suspended/revoked after an administrative hearing by a DMV hearing officer or if you are convicted of an alcohol relate driving offense. There is no automatic revocation unless you fail to request a hearing. Drivers license revocation can take place in as little as seven (7) days after you are charged with DUI if you took a breath test or refused testing. Calling us at 1 877 362-9091 for a free consultation after you are released from police custody or the detox facility might save your driving privileges! Since Colorado posts all license restraints to the National Driver Register, you may lose your right to drive elsewhere in the US.

License Revocations

Your license may be revoked for "Per Se DUI" (driving with alcohol content over 0.08) or if you are convicted of DUI in court. The minimum revocation period is nine (9) months for a first DUI, one (1) year for a second DUI, and two (2) years for a second or subsequent DUI. A conviction for DUID (e.g., driving under the influence of marijuana) will result in a one (1) year revocation. Multiple convictions can result in longer periods of license restraint depending on the number and timing of violations. Refusing a police request for a chemical test ("refusal") can also result in a loss of driver's license. For a first refusal the revocation is one year, two years for a second and three years for a third.

EC License Hearing

A refusal or breath test over 0.08 means you must request an Express Consent hearing with the Department of Revenue. If you took a blood test and the result was over 0.08, the DMV will send you a notice setting a deadline for a hearing request. If you don't make a hearing request in either situation your driver's license will be revoked automatically for the periods listed above.

A hearing may be requested at any full service DMV office or in writing by mail. If there is no other restraint against you license you will be issued a temporary permit to drive for sixty days or until the hearing is held, whichever is first. Depending on the facts of your case, you should request that the officer who filed the case with DMV attend the hearing. Once a request is filed, a hearing must be held within 60 days unless it is postponed due to an emergency involving the hearing officer or police officer. At the hearing you will be able to present evidence and legal argument why a revocation based upon an administrative determination should not enter.

Colorado Interlock License

Colorado does not issue "hardship licenses, work permits," etc. for a dui suspension. After one month of revocation, the Department of Revenue will issue an interlock driver's license ("early reinstatement") to adult drivers (persons over 21.) In order to qualify for early reinstatement your license restraint must be for DWAI, DUI or "driving under restraint" related to a DUI. Drivers who were under-age at the time of offense must wait one year before early reinstatement. Adults revoked for refusal will have to wait for two months before being able to drive with an interlock. If you qualify for an interlock, a license will be issued automatically upon compliance with the requirements set forth on the Colorado Department of Revenue Web Site. Its best to verify your requirements by calling DMV before you start the process.

In order to drive during the restraint period, your car must be equipped with an approved interlock. Failure to drive with an interlock will result in new criminal charges and loss of all driving rights for an extended period of time. The interlock will be monitored by the DMV during monthly or bi-monthly checks to make sure that no tampering occurs. Monitoring will also reveal whether the interlock has prevented driving with alcohol present.

An interlock works by disabling the vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol. After the vehicle is started, the interlock will call for the driver to test periodically. Failure to test, or a positive test for alcohol after the vehicle has been started will cause the lights to blink and horn to blow in a manner calculated to alert the police.

Reinstatement of License

After the end of the revocation period you must act to have the license revocation lifted. The restraint will not go away automatically and you can be charged with driving under restraint months or years after you are eligible to get you license back if it is not taken off. The minimum requirements for lifting the restraint are:

  • $95.00 reinstatement fee
  • Reinstatement Application Form DR 2870
  • SR22 insurance (waived for out-of-state drivers)
  • Certification Form DR 2598 or Affidavit of Enrollment Form DR 2643
Out-of-state drivers may avoid SR22 insurance requirements by submitting a completed Form DR 2680 Affidavit.

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