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The concept of a DUI.

I'm Charged with DUI. What Happens to My Driver's License? 

The Law Offices of Thomas W. Martin, LLC Sept. 30, 2022

In the state of Colorado, driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. Unfortunately, your driver's license may be suspended or revoked – along with other severe penalties and consequences – when arrested and charged with a DUI

However, with your driver's license suspended, you may find it extremely difficult to get to school, work, or the medical facility. A skilled Colorado criminal defense attorney can explain the various consequences of a DUI charge and help protect your driving privileges. 

With more than 10 years of experience representing clients in diverse criminal cases, I have the diligence, skill, and resources to guide and defend you against your drunk driving allegations. As your legal counsel, I can investigate every detail of your case, strategize your best defenses to help fight your DUI charges, and work to get your license reinstated. My firm is proud to serve clients across Fort Collins, Colorado, and surrounding areas throughout Larimer and Weld Counties. 

DUI License Penalties in Colorado  

According to Colorado DUI law, it is an offense to drive or operate a motor vehicle: 

  • With a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08%, or 

  • While under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. 

The possible criminal penalties for a DUI conviction in Colorado may include hefty fines, jail time, license suspension/revocation, probation, and mandatory alcohol or drug treatment programs. Here are the potential license penalties for Colorado DUI convictions: 

First Offense 

  • Refusing a Breath Test: 1 year license revocation 

  • Failing a Chemical Test: License revocation for 9 months 

  • License Revocation: 9 months 

Second Offense 

  • Refusing a Breath Test: License revocation for 2 years 

  • Failing a Chemical Test: License revocation for 1 year 

  • License Revocation: 1 year 

Third Offense 

  • Refusing a Breath Test: License revocation for 3 years 

  • Failing a Chemical Test: License revocation for 2 years 

  • License Revocation: Indefinite (You can apply for reinstatement after 2 years) 

*Generally, having a BAC of .08% or more is considered failing a chemical test. 

If your driver's license has been suspended due to a DUI charge, you need to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Your lawyer can review the facts of your unique situation, strategize how to get your license reinstated, and determine whether you can apply for a hardship license. 

Hardship License 

In Colorado, individuals whose driver's license has been suspended or revoked may be eligible to apply for a hardship license – also referred to as a “red” license. This is a form of restricted license which permits you to drive to certain places, including: 

  • Work 

  • Traffic court 

  • School 

  • Church or mosque 

  • Hospital or doctor's appointments 

  • Alcoholics Anonymous or alcohol education school 

  • Court-required community service 

However, you can only receive a hardship license in the state of Colorado if your application is approved by the traffic court. An experienced Colorado DUI defense attorney can determine your eligibility for a hardship license and guide you through the application process. 

Who Qualifies for a Hardship License? 

In order to obtain a hardship license, you must prove to the hearing officer that: 

  • You will go through undue hardship due to the license suspension, and 

  • You are not a threat to public safety 

You may be obligated to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle which will require you to provide a breath sample before the engine will start. If the IID detects alcohol on your breath, the engine will fail to start. 

Getting Your License Reinstated in Colorado 

Below are some of the steps involved in getting your driver's license reinstated in Colorado: 

  • Fulfill the condition that led to your license suspension 

  • Pay the required legal fees and traffic fines 

  • Meet the essential requirements of any criminal conviction 

  • Complete the DR 2870, Application for Reinstatement 

  • Pay the driver's license reinstatement fee 

  • Provide proof of SR-22 insurance – certificate of financial responsibility 

What's more, it may take up to 20 business days for your application to be reviewed and processed. If your application for driver's license reinstatement is approved, you will be notified. You can proceed to the Colorado DMV with your notification to collect your driver's license. An experienced lawyer can walk you through the license reinstatement process and help complete all the required documentation. 

Don't Risk Your Freedom. Call Now 

Fighting your drunk driving charges without experienced representation is never advisable. If convicted, you may be facing huge fines, lengthy jail time, license revocation, and other social ramifications. In addition, a license suspension could cause several inconveniences in your education, livelihood, and health. Therefore, when facing DUI charges, retaining a highly-skilled criminal defense attorney is paramount for detailed guidance and to protect your driving privileges. 

I'm committed to offering personalized legal guidance and skilled representation to clients in their drunk driving cases. As your legal counsel, I will work to understand every aspect of your case, outline an effective defense strategy for you, and refute the charges against you with overwhelming evidence. In addition, I will work diligently to protect your legal rights, help fight your DUI charges, and ultimately get your driver's license reinstated. 

If you're facing drunk driving charges or if your driver's license has been suspended due to a DUI charge and you want to fight it, contact me at The Law Offices of Thomas W. Martin, LLC today. I will represent you aggressively in your case and help you avoid the consequences of a license suspension. My firm is proud to serve clients across Fort Collins, Colorado, and surrounding areas throughout Larimer and Weld Counties, including Johnstown, Wellington, Loveland, Estes Park, Greeley, and Windsor.