DMV and Your License
Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
IMPORTANT 7 DAYS:
If you were just stopped and arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) then you may have only seven (7) days from your date of arrest to request a Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing. If you refused chemical testing (blood or Intoxilyzer) or if you did take a test and blew a .08 or higher, then you should have been given a yellow piece of paper entitled EXPRESS CONSENT AFFIDAVIT. If so, that means you have seven (7) days within which to request a hearing at DMV.
If you do request a hearing, I recommend that you mark the box where you DO want the officer present for the hearing. Not all lawyers agree with this so do what the lawyer you are going to hire recommends.
When you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs or Both (DUI) in Colorado, you really have two cases going on. You have the criminal case with the Judge and Court and you have an administrative case with the Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
These two cases look alike and it is often confusing as they both use essentially the same evidence. In the criminal case the worst that can happen to you is you have to go to jail. In the civil case the worst that can happen to you is you lose your driving privileges in Colorado. Neither case controls the other and the order of the court date or the administrative hearing date makes no difference to the other proceeding.
If you consented to allow the government to draw blood from you for chemical testing then you don’t have to rush down to request a hearing; just make sure DMV has a current mailing address for you. After your blood is tested if the blood test result comes back at .08 or higher, DMV will send you a letter. This may take up to three months.
OUT OF STATE LICENSE:
If you have an out-of-state driver’s license then it depends on if you are from out-of-state and are going back there (i.e. after visiting here) or if you have moved here and simply still have been using your out-of-state license. If you are going back to your home state then eventually you would need to contact a DUI lawyer in your home state to see how your home state will treat your situation.
Colorado does not suspend or revoke your license for drugs. If you submitted to a blood test for your chemical testing regardless of the test result, you will not lose your driving privileges.
If you are under 21 and arrested for DUI, you will lose your driving privileges from the Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles if your chemical test result is even under .08 because you were too young to drink when arrested.
The Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) oversees the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as they are state regulatory agencies. When you get arrested in Colorado you have two cases. One is in criminal court with a judge and prosecutor and the other case is with the DMV and it only concerns your driving privileges and your driver’s license. This is even if you are an out-of-state resident just visiting.
“Express Consent” means that when you drive in Colorado on the streets and highways you have “expressly consented” (consented ahead of time by driving in Colorado) to having a test of your blood or breath drawn when asked by a law enforcement officer who has determined sufficient probable cause to arrest you for DUI. Sounds simple enough.
When the State of Colorado suspects you are driving under the influence or impaired, and they asked you for a sample of your blood or breath, they are looking to see if you have alcohol or drugs in your system. If you do not provide blood or breath when asked by law enforcement, then they will deem you a “Refusal”. This is actually the third category: Blood, Breath, Refusal.
So, what else does it mean? Usually, when you hear people talk about Express Consent in your case, that is a short hand way of discussing whether or not you gave a sample of your blood or breath or if you refused either. The next piece of information to flow from that would be your test result or what I call “the number”. Juries love to see a number in a DUI trial. If you do NOT submit to the testing by blood or breath then there will be no “number” for the jury to convict you on.
When you are stopped and the officer suspects that you have been “drinking and driving” or “drugging and driving” he/she will conduct an investigation by asking you questions and these are questions you need not answer. You though must provide to the officer your proof of auto registration, current driver’s license and proof of current auto insurance. Other than those, you do not have to answer any of the questions. They are investigatory questions which answers will be used as evidence against you in prosecuting you for DUI.
What you don’t know is regardless of whether you refused, you can still get your Colorado driving privileges back early very similarly to if you had given blood or breath if you are a resident of Colorado.
If though you are an Out of State driver visiting Colorado when you get a DUI then your driver’s license situation would be much different than if you were a Colorado resident. In some ways, Out of State drivers may have it easier.
Call the best DUI attorney you can find and talk to that attorney about your driving privileges.