Colorado is a major tourist destination for many victors. We have the best mountains to ski and wonderful parks and places to visit. It is no wonder that several people visit Denver, Aurora, and other parts of the Centennial State on a yearly basis.
This often leads to visitors drinking and driving. A DUI can result in significant penalties for out-of-state drivers or non-residents. The Colorado DMV does not have authority to grant restricted or probationary licenses to drivers from other states. The revocation period for these drivers could be significantly harsher.
An out-of-state driver that has been charged with a DUI offense in Colorado needs zealous representation. It is important to speak with a DUI Attorney. The DUI attorney you hire should understands the DMV process and the best way to get you driving privileges back. The Lawrence Law Firm’s DUI Lawyer regularly deals with these issues.
How does a DUI Impact your driver’s license?
Colorado has an express consent statute. This statute permits law enforcement to request a defendant submit to chemical testing. A police officer must have probable cause to initiate a traffic stop.
Probable cause is the belief that the defendant is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This will be based off the observations of the office and the results of any standardized field sobriety test. The officer will also try to elicit admissions of consumption from the defendant.
Law enforcement must then inform the defendant of Colorado Express Consent. A blood or breath test must be completed with two hours of the defendant driving. Driving includes the defendant being in actual physical control of the car.
A defendant will have a right to request a hearing to challenge the revocation. However, the revocation hearing is only focused on the defendant’s driving privileges.
Driving being a privilege is important. It is a criminal case, but it does not have all the constitutional protections of a criminal case. This means the standards are not as high as in a criminal case. The burden of proof is lessened.
The defendant will only have seven days after receiving notice of the revocation to request a hearing. The hearing has to be within 60 days of the date of the hearing is requested.
These hearings are typically conducted via phone or virtually. If you hire a DUI criminal defense lawyer, the lawyer can waive your appearance. Our firm routinely handles the administrative hearing portion of a DUI Defense.
How does a DUI impact an out-of-state driver?
Many states in the nation are a part of the interstate driver license compact. This compact is a reciprocal agreement between the members states. This compact is based on the principles of the privileges and immunities clause of the US Constitution.
This clause states that privileges and immunities granted by one state will be honored by the other states of the union. A US citizen will not need a driver's license in every state they visit. The license from their home state will be honored.
The reverse is also true. The revocation of one state can also be honored by the other states. If a defendant's driving privileges are revoked in Colorado, the home state of the defendant will also honor the license suspensions.
How does an out-of-state driver reinstate their driving privileges after a Colorado DUI Offense?
A first time DUI charge based on a chemical test will result in a nine-month license revocation. A second offense will result in a one-year revocation, and a third will result in a 2-year revocation. If the defendant refuses, the revocation period will be for one year. In some instances, the defendant will be required to be enrolled or complete a level-2 alcohol class.
A level-2 alcohol class can be very time consuming. The class is broken down into a education component and therapy component. These classes consist of two-hour classes every week for a an educational and therapeutic period.
The educational period is always 12 weeks. The therapy is based off the facts of the case and alcohol evaluation of the defendant.
A Colorado driver will be permitted to apply for early reinstatement if they fulfill certain requirements. The driver will need to get an interlock device installed in their vehicle. They will also be required to have special SR-22 insurance for two years. Finally, the driver will be required to seek early reinstatement of their driving privileges.
The Colorado department of revenue does not have authority to grant early reinstatement of driving privileges. This means that out-of-state DUI defendant will need to serve the complete suspension period before getting their license back.
Out-of-state drivers can reinstate their license as well depending on the facts of their dui offense. The Colorado DMV will not lift any hold they placed on a driver’s license until the defendant completes certain requirements.
Out-of-state DUI defendants are required to complete the following suspension period and meets the following requirements:
1. First DUI Offense BAC Under .15
This is perhaps the easiest case to resolve. The driver will need to apply for reinstatement after the revocation period. There are also forms regarding alcohol consumption and out-of-state residency. A defendant will need to be completed to get around the SR-22 requirement.
2. DUI First with BAC Greater than .15
As with a first under .15, the defendant will need to put in an application for early reinstatement. There are also forms concerning out-of-state residency and an affidavit of non-ownership.
These forms can get you an out-of-state defendant around the need for an SR-22 and ignition interlock device. A defendant will be required to have an interlock device for two years. This requirement will be required even after waiting for the revocation period and complete a level 2 alcohol class before reinstatement.
3. DUI with refusal of Chemical Testing
This is perhaps the worst-case scenario for out-of-state drivers. The defendant will need to put in an application for early reinstatement. There are also forms concerning out-of-state residency.
The affidavit of non-ownership can get you around the need for an SR-22 and ignition interlock device. A defendant may be required to have an interlock device for two years.
This interlock requirement will be required even after waiting for the revocation. The revocation period is one year. A level 2 alcohol class will also be required before reinstatement.
Even if a criminal defend survives the express consent hearing. A person convicted of a DUI could also lose their driving privileges. This is based on the what ends up on their criminal record.
Speak with a DUI Defense Attorney to Understand how your license will be impacted.
Colorado may consider driving a privilege, but it is not for most people. These cases may seem simple and straight forward, but probation can be complicated. A competent DUI lawyer can help you understand the DMV process and quickest way to get your license back.
The Lawrence Law Firm has been handling DUI Cases for 10+ years. We offer free consultations with our DUI Attorney. If you have questions, do not hesitate to request a free consultation.
We are willing to help anyone facing DUI offenses in Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Adams County. Call today if you have any questions concerning your case. Consultations are provided during normal business hours. We do offer after hours upon request.