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DUI DMV Colorado

Changes in Reinstatement of a Driver’s License After DUI

By: Lain A. Lawrence - DUI Attorney June 28, 2023

Colorado has an express consent statute. This statute requires a driver to submit to a chemical test if requested. A law enforcement officer has to have probable cause to believe the driver is driving under the influence. The chemical test can be either a breathalyzer or blood test.

The chemical test must be within 2 hours of the defendant driving the vehicle. A defendant will have their driving privileges revoked if the test results are above the limit. A defendant will only have 7 days to request a hearing. 

The hearing is a second legal case. The outcome of the hearing does not impact the criminal case. The outcome of the criminal case does not impact the hearing. 

It is important to speak with a DUI attorney. They will understand the DMV hearing process and how to best protect your ability to drive. 

The hearing process is complicated. A Defendant can get their privileges back after the DMV hearing. The process is complicated. A DUI lawyer will be great help during this time.

How is the Colorado DMV hearing handled after a Driving under the Influence Charge?

A defendant has 7 days to request a hearing. The hearing has to be within 60 days of the date the hearing is requested. A defendant will be granted a temporary license to drive until the hearing.

The hearing is only focused on a defendant’s ability to drive. This is a privilege under Colorado Law. A privilege is easier to take from a defendant as opposed to rights and property. 

The burden of proof is lowered. Evidentiary rules are relaxed at the DMV hearing. Additionally, the case will be decided by a hearing officer as opposed to a jury. 

The state will have to establish certain things at the hearing. First, law enforcement will need a reason to contact the defendant. Typical probable cause is a traffic infraction, such as speeding or weaving. Next, police will need to show they had reason to believe the defendant was under the influence. 

The evidence does not need to establish that the defendant was in fact drunk. Law enforcement has to show they had a reason to believe the driver was drunk. Police officers point to the results of field sobriety tests. There are also initial breathalyzer tests.

The last thing to establish is the test. A defendant must be advised of Express Consent. Thes test has to be done within 2 hours of driving.

A defendant will have their license revoked if they refuse to submit to a chemical test.

What Happens if you Lose the DMV Hearing

A defendant will have their privileges to drive revoked if they are not successful at the DMV.  The length of the revocation will depend on whether the defendant submitted to the test and the number of prior offenses.

A first offense with a test will result in a revocation of 9 months. A second offense will result in a one-year revocation. A third offense could result in a revocation of two years.

A first refusal will result in a revocation of one year. A second refusal will result in a revocation of two years. A third will result in a revocation of three years. 

It is important to note that the DMV will look at previous revocations and not convictions. For example, a defendant could have two prior DUI’s when picking up a new case. IF the two prior cases involved chemical testing, but the third was a refusal. The DMV would look at the revocation as a first refusal revocation.  

What are the Conditions for Early Reinstatement in Colorado

The defendant will have a couple options after a DUI. A Defendant can wait for the revocation period or go through early reinstatement. A defendant's BAC will impose additional requirements, such as mandatory ignition interlock device.

A defendant can also get their license back early through the early reinstatement process. Prior to January of 2023, a defendant would be required to wait 30 days before applying for early reinstatement. 

For offenses after 2023, a defendant can start the reinstatement process immediately. This process would require a defendant to obtain an interlock device and special insurance. If the BAC is above a .15, a defendant will be required to enroll in Level II drug and alcohol classes.

Refusals are treated harshly. A defendant will have to go 60 days without driving before applying for early reinstatement. A refusal will always require enrolment in the Level II classes.

The early reinstatement requirements after a DUI can be complicated. They get even more complicated for defendants that are under 21 years old. It is always important to speak with a competent DUI Defense lawyer to understand how best to proceed.

Driving Privileges Can Still Be Revoked After a DMV Hearing

If a defendant wins the DMV hearing, the driving privileges can still be revoked based off a conviction. Convictions can result in administrative revocations. Additionally, a defendant can be found to be a habitual traffic offender based off the convictions and their driving privileges.

At a minimum, you should always speak with a DUI Defense attorney to understand what you are facing and how best to prepare. 

Speak with a DUI Defense Lawyer to understand the DMV Process.

DUI law and the DMV process is complicated. Driving privileges are also a necessity for most people. The lose of driving privileges can be worse than jail time for some clients.

Each DUI case is different. Each case and each defendant require a DUI attorney to tailor a defense to their case and goals.

If you are charged with a DUI offense or DWAI involving a DMV Hearing in Aurora or the Denver Metro Area, request a consultation with our DUI lawyer today. We are open during regular business hours, and we will stay late and be available on the weekends by appointment.

Schedule a free consultation with a DUI Accident Attorney from the Lawrence Law Firm. We are ready, willing, and able to represent you. Our firm charges flat fees, but we also provide flexible payments plans. Your financial situation should not compromise your legal defenses.

Request a consultation today with our Colorado DUI Attorney.