Colorado has two sets of procedures that you must attend to when you have been charged with a DUI—administrative and judicial. We suggest that you consult with a DUI attorney immediately to make sure you get the best advice for your particular situation as laws are always changing. For more in-depth advice on Colorado ignition interlock laws, check out our partner LifeSafer.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Procedures
Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Colorado is one of 42 states that has implemented ALR which means that your license will be confiscated immediately if your BAC is above .08 OR if you refuse a BAC test. Your license will either be suspended or revoked at that point, even though you have not been officially convicted in a criminal trial. In fact, you can be charged with an administrative license suspension even if you are not later charged with driving under the influence offense. This action was designed to be in addition to and separate from the traditional DUI judicial conviction penalties such as license suspension, jail time, community service hours, ignition interlock device, and alcohol and drug rehabilitation.
You will be given a 7 day grace period during which you can drive under a temporary driving permit issued by the officer at the scene. During that time, you can request a hearing to challenge this case. This case will be heard by an administrative law judge. If you do not request a hearing, your license will be automatically suspended on the 8th for 90 days. After the suspension period, you will be required to get an ignition interlock device.
Remember that this is a separate case from the judicial case, with separate authorities and separate rulings. This can be a very important influence upon the judicial procedures, but you must act very quickly if you wish to challenge this.
In Colorado, there are two levels of drunk driving laws:
- Driving While Under the Influence (DUI) law prohibits a person from driving when they have a BAC of .08% or higher. Courts are required to order the installation and monitoring of an interlock device for any driver whose BAC levels are .08% or higher, even for a first offense. The devices are required for a minimum of six months, with extensions if the driver has a high BAC at the time of arrest or if injury or property damages are involved.
- Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) law makes it illegal to drive with a lower BAC than most states. The DWAI law starts at 0.05 percent (BAC). DWAI fines and jail times are similar, however, an ignition interlock device is not required unless it is coupled with a previous or subsequent DUI offense.
License Revocation, Fines and Jail
- First Offense – Misdemeanor: 5 days to 1 year in jail, fines up to $1,000, 9-month license suspension, community service, completion of an alcohol treatment program, and installation of an interlock device for 8 months. For BAC of 0.17 or higher, the IID is required for 2 years.
- Second Offense – Misdemeanor: 90 days to 1 year in jail, fines up to $1,500, community service, one-year license suspension, completion of an alcohol treatment program, and installation of an interlock device for 2 years.
- Third Offense and Subsequent – Misdemeanor: 70 days to 1 year in jail, fines up to $1,500, 2-year license suspension, community service, completion of an alcohol education or treatment program, and installation of an interlock device for 2 years.
- Individuals who are designated as habitual traffic offenders are required to install IIDs for a period of four years.
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