Suspended License in Colorado
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Whenever you would like to check the status of your driver's license, you can order a driving record report. This report will spell out if your driver's license is currently valid. If your license has been suspended or revoked, it will indicate that according to the DMV's records. The report will also show points against your license, and in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.
Some of the reasons you can have your license suspended or revoked are: excessive points violation on your record, DUI offenses, refusing a blood alcohol concentration test, failure to maintain adequate insurance on your vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, or even failing to keep up on child support payments.
Because the reasons for suspension are so diverse, each case will have varying steps to take to reinstate your license. The DMV will advise you of the specific steps you need to take.
The numbers to avoid are as follows:
- Adults over 21: 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months
- Adults age 18 to 20: nine points in 12 months, 12 points in 24 months, or 14+ points before age 21
- Minors under 18: six points in 12 months or seven points before age 18
However, before the deed is truly official, you will be granted a hearing. A notice stating the time, date, and location of the event will be mailed to the address on record (so, it is a good idea to keep them updated if you tend to move around a good deal).
There are various types of motor vehicle hearings ranging from habitual traffic offender hearings to the exceptionally serious revocation hearings, which usually involve a DUI charge. But the majority of cases are for basic point violation suspensions.
Attending a scheduled DMV hearing is a bit like going to court to face a judge. It is the one chance to give your side of events; to plead your case to the hearing officer, or show valid proof that the MVR is wrong. If you fail to show up at the hearing, your license is suspended automatically for the maximum period, which is one year.
If you choose to, you can retain an attorney to come along and represent your case. This is a good idea in many situations, as you are up against numerous technical issues and usually presented with a limited set of options where a lawyer may have some sway. Still, you need to also be present as the attorney cannot simply appear in your place.
Ultimately, the hearing office will come to a decision based on what you present and the simple facts of your MRV. The final judgment will include:
- Whether or not a suspension is ordered based on the evidence
- How long it will last based on the maximum of a year
- Options available, if any, such as a probationary license
If you feel the hearing officer's verdict was in violation of the law, you have 30 days to make an appeal in district court.
If you need to request a hearing in a hurry, (for example, on a DUI charge you only have seven days and it is important to get in under this deadline), contact the hearing section at (303) 205-5606.
Whereas a suspension temporarily invalidates your license, a revocation nullifies it entirely. If your license has been revoked you can get it reinstated, but the process will involve taking the written and driving exams again.
Usually, revocation is an action taken against multiple alcohol-related violations or in cases where an individual cannot seem to stop driving 50 miles over the speed limit and getting caught.
In many cases, after multiple revocations and alcohol-related offenses, a person will be restricted with an ignition interlock device, which prevents a vehicle from starting until a Breathalyzer test is taken.
One may indeed need to have this device installed and attend numerous alcohol classes in order to have a license reinstated after revocation. If all else fails, the DMV has the option of canceling a license, in which case, all driving privileges are suspended and the license is null and void for good.
If you are faced with any of these situations and move out of state with the idea of simply getting a new license, you will quickly find out the all states are in cahoots. A national database exists that is firmly checked by all DMVs prior to the initial license application process. You will need to take care of the violations in one state before applying for a license in another.
If during a hearing a judgment is ruled against you and your license is suspended, the hearing officer may mull over issuing a probationary (red) license. Things that are considered include:
- Seriousness of the violations resulting in suspension
- Whether you have alternative forms of transportation to a job or school (i.e., bus, light rail, friends)
- Whether or not you will lose employment based on not being able to drive
- Whether you are relied upon as a guardian to take your children to/from school
- Whether someone is dependent upon your transport to a medical facility on a consistent basis
The hearing officer may call a recess in order for you to collect proof of these mitigating circumstances. Obviously, if a hearing officer allows a probationary license and sets driving limitations that you violate, your privileges will be instantly revoked.
Unless there is some sort of extenuating circumstance hanging over your head, your license will be reinstated after a suspension. The hearing officer will determine the length of suspension as well as the date for reinstatement. This date will be handed down at the actual hearing or later by mail.
On the day of reinstatement you will need to show valid proof of minimum liability insurance coverage (a policy in your name or where you are listed, by name, as covered) and pay a $95 fee. You can also reinstate by mail, but you will need to send in the insurance information and fee four to six weeks prior to the return of your driving privileges.
Unless you physically hold a new license after reinstatement you are not considered reinstated, and if you operate a vehicle you will be driving under a suspended license.
For more information on the Colorado points system, as well as suspensions and reinstatement check the state's helpful brochure.
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