While some motorists regard driving as a basic right, the fact is that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. Under certain circumstances, an individual's Colorado driver's license may be suspended or revoked for a specific length of time, depending on the person's driving record or history, and the particular violation(s).
REASONS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
There are a variety of reasons why your Colorado driver's license might be suspended. Some of these are related to specific driving violations, while others may be due to violation of other State laws. Following are some of the most common reasons for a Colorado driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
- Excessive Moving Violations. The state of Colorado operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 12 or more points on your current driver record within 12 consecutive months, your license will be suspended.
- Driving Under the Influence. Your Colorado driver's license will be suspended if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the violation and whether it is a first or repeat offense.
- Driving with a Suspended License or no License. Driving with a suspended license will lead to an increase in the length of the suspension, and you may also be imprisoned for up to five days and be fined up to $500. The duration of the additional suspension varies depending on the reason for the underlying suspension. Your driver's license may also be suspended if you do not have your license with you while you are driving.
- Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in Colorado must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being suspended.
- Other Driving-Related Violations. Your Colorado driver's license may also be suspended if you engage in reckless driving, are found to be at fault in a fatal accident, or if you abandon your vehicle on a public highway.
- Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The DMV can order a re-examination of any person who may not be fit to drive based on written information received from a doctor, a law enforcement agency, a court, or an immediate family member. An individual's driving privileges may be suspended if the re-examination finds they are physically or psychologically unable to drive safely.
- Non-Driving Reasons for License Suspension. A variety of non-driving violations or issues can result in your license being suspended. These include: not responding to a DMV notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges; and not paying child support.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR COLORADO DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED
Having your Colorado driver's license suspended is a serious matter and it is essential to adhere to State law in the event that your license is suspended. If you believe your license may be suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer.
The three most important things to be aware of following a license suspension are:
- You will receive a notice from the Division of Motor Vehicles informing you of your impending license suspension. The notice will give you details of the first and last dates of your suspension and detail any steps that you may have to perform to reinstate your license.
- While your license is suspended, you are not permitted to drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, you may be imprisoned for up to five days, fined up to $500, and/or the length of your suspension may be increased.
- You will not receive a written notice of restoration from the DMV. Once your suspension period is over and/or you have taken the necessary steps outlined in your suspension notice, you can apply for restoration.
APPEALING A SUSPENSION
If you receive a notice of suspension from the DMV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. A Hearing Officer will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended, and the length of the suspension. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program. Completing a Driver Improvement Program may remove points from the current driving record, and in some cases can enable an individual to avoid having his license suspended.
It is also a good idea to seek the advice of a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer, based on the reason for the suspension.
RESTORING YOUR LICENSE
Once you have served your term of suspension and/or completed the corrective action as required by the DMV or court, you can apply for restoration of your driving privileges. Generally, you will need to:
- Download and complete an Application for Reinstatement. Pay a reinstatement fee of $95.
- If this is the only restrain action against you, you can apply in person at the nearest full service Driver's License Office or mail the application along with a check or money order made out to the Department of Revenue to the following address:
Colorado Department of Revenue Driver Control Reinstatement P.O. Box 173345, Denver, CO 80217-3345
- If your license was revoked, you must apply for a new license.
- For further information on reinstatement procedures visit the Reinstatement Information section at the DMV website.