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What to Expect: Colorado License Suspension

The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles will revoke your license to drive if either you refuse to take a blood or breath test, or you receive a test result of 0.08 BAC or higher. You have a right to challenge the revocation of your license in Colorado by requesting a DMV hearing. You must request this hearing within seven days from the time you are arrested and take a breath test over 0.08. In the event you took a blood test, you must request the hearing within seven days of receiving the notice of revocation in the mail — or before the date listed on the notice — whichever is sooner. If you refused the BAC test altogether, you must request the hearing within seven days of your arrest.

You have temporary driving privileges during the seven day period. If you request a hearing, these temporary privileges continue until the date your hearing is held. If you win the hearing, the case is dismissed and you keep your license. If you lose the hearing, your license is revoked as of that moment. For that reason, it is advisable to have a licensed driver accompany you to the hearing.

The length of your revocation will be 9 months on a first offense if you submitted to a BAC test. It will be for one year if you refused the test. You will only be eligible for early reinstatement if you chose to take the BAC test. Second offenses carry a one year revocation, and that increases to two years if you refused the test.

If you request a hearing, the DMV will notify you by mail of the hearing date. It is important to make sure the DMV has your correct mailing address. In blood test cases, be sure the DMV can reach you by mail, or you may not be informed that your license is going to be revoked to begin with. Notify your DUI attorney immediately when a hearing date has been set, so that any scheduling conflicts can be resolved.

The DMV hearing is a separate matter from the criminal case against you. Your only potential penalty at the DMV is the revocation of your driving privilege. Other penalties, such as jail time and other sentence requirements are determined by the criminal court judge if you are convicted. The result of your case at the DMV has no bearing on your court case. Even if your case is dismissed at the DMV, you must still face the criminal charge in court, and vice versa.

Reinstating your License

It is very important to get your license reinstated after any suspension or revocation. If you drive before reinstating, you can be charged with Driving Under Revocation – a crime that could result in mandatory jail time. In addition, a Driving Under Revocation charge will result in an additional year being tacked on to your revocation. You can be charged with Driving Under Revocation even though your revocation period has ended — simply because you did not reinstate your license.