Colorado DMV Point System
The purpose of the Colorado DMV point system is to monitor motorists’ driving habits and penalize them each time they are convicted of violating motor vehicle laws. CO demerit points will be placed against the offender’s driving record upon conviction of a specific traffic misdemeanor. Note that a conviction in Colorado occurs once drivers enter a plea of guilty to their charges, arrange payment for their amount due or accept a plea bargain. The amount of infraction points assigned to drivers in violation of road rules and regulations generally depends on the seriousness of the committed offense. Learn more about the driver point system in CO and the traffic violation penalties stemming from various infractions in the following sections:
- Moving violations and points in Colorado
- Penalties in Colorado
- How to fix a Colorado driving record
- Disputing a Colorado moving violation charge
Moving Violations and Points in Colorado
The state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) places CO moving violation points against your driving report following convictions of a multitude of traffic violations. A lower number of driver violation points is usually assessed for minor infractions. More severe offenses, however, generally lead to a higher amount of traffic violation points. For example, you will receive up to eight points for reckless driving in Colorado if you are found guilty of operating recklessly, thus endangering another person or property. Fleeing from a law enforcement agent is also considered a serious offense, which may lead to 12 points on your record. Three moving violation points may result from making improper turns as a minor infraction.
Licensees who amass too many Colorado reckless driving points or other infraction points will lose their privilege to drive for a specific period of time. Note that point-related suspensions in Colorado are based on age, and may be handed down for the following point accumulations:
- Adult drivers
- 12 points within 12 months
- 18 points in any 24 consecutive months
- Drivers 18 to 20 years of age
- 9 points within 12 months
- 12 points within 24 months
- 14 points or more between 18 and 21 years of age
- Motorists younger than 18
- 6 points within 12 consecutive months
- 7 points before turning 18 years of age
Note: Point-related offenses may result in a suspension of your credential for up to one year.
Penalties in Colorado
In addition to the DMV-administered traffic ticket penalty in CO resulting in a license suspension due to the accumulation of too many points on a driving transcript, motorists who are found guilty of more serious offenses may also be sentenced by the court handling their case. Drunk driving penalties resulting from DUI offenses are generally highly strict and may include large fines, possible imprisonment, mandatory completion of alcohol and drug treatment programs and more. For instance, Colorado DUI penalties issued to adult drivers convicted of operating with a BAC of .08 percent for the first time may consist of a nine-month license revocation, a fine of up to $1,000, a jail sentence of up to one year and maximum 96-hour public service. Traffic violation penalties for habitual DUI offenders and young drivers will be even harsher. Motorists younger than 21 years of age will be in breach of the law if their BAC ranges between .02 and .08 percent, or if they are caught buying or possessing alcoholic beverages.
How to Fix a Colorado Driving Record
In general, the fastest and most convenient way to become eligible for a DMV point reduction, thus avoiding the negative consequences of the misdemeanor in question is completing an authorized traffic school course. Even though the completion of a defensive driving course in Colorado may not help motorists reduce license points or qualify for ticket dismissal, they may still benefit greatly from such a course. By enrolling into a state-accepted driver improvement course, licensees will acquire important driving techniques and practice safe driving habits, which may help them avoid possible infractions and points on their driving record in the future. In addition to this, they may qualify for lower vehicle insurance premiums as well. Before taking a CO driving safety course, contact the court handling your case or a local CO DMV office to inquire about the benefits upon graduating from traffic school.
Disputing a Colorado Moving Violation Charge
Fighting a speeding ticket in Colorado or other type of citation reflects the driver’s decision to prove his or her innocence in court and dismiss the related charges. In general, the process of contesting a traffic ticket requires motorists to plead “not guilty” to their infraction in a timely manner. Note that drivers may also plea bargain prior to their court hearing in exchange for a reduced charge. Since disputing a traffic ticket in CO is a demanding process, motorists may consider hiring an experienced lawyer to help them win their case. Failure to prove their innocence in court may only lead to demerit points on their driving record and possible license suspensions, among other penalties.