Driving on a Suspended License in Colorado

Numerous driving and other offenses will lead to the suspension or revocation of driving privileges. In general, a suspension means a temporary withdrawal of the privilege of driving. A revocation is more serious and generally means you must apply for a new license once your period of revocation ends. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a crime.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your license may be suspended or revoked due to alcohol offenses, not having liability insurance, points-based suspensions, or a range of criminal convictions.

Alcohol Offenses

Your license may be suspended or revoked for a range of alcohol offenses, including an arrest or conviction for driving under the influence or refusing to take a test to determine whether you are intoxicated. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-126.)

Liability Insurance

The Department of Revenue may suspend your license if you are caught driving without insurance on your vehicle. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127.7(a).)

  • For your first offense, the Department may suspend your license until you provide proof that your vehicle is insured. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127.7(a)(I).)
  • For your second offense within five years, the department may suspend your driver’s license for four months. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127.7(a)(II).)
  • For a third or subsequent offense, the department may suspend your driver’s license for eight months. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127.7(a)(III).)

Points-based Suspensions

The Department of Revenue may suspend your license if you accumulate points on your record due to driving convictions or traffic tickets, such as speeding, reckless driving, or drunk driving. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127.) Your license may be suspended if you accumulate 12 points within 12 months or 18 or more points within 24 months. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127(1)(a).) Drivers younger than 21 may have their licenses suspended on a different scale. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127(1)(a).)

Child Support

Your license may be suspended if you are not in compliance with an order to pay child support. If it is suspended, it may not be reinstated until you prove that you are complying with your child support order. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127.5 (1-3).)

Your license may be revoked for a range of convictions, including:

  • vehicular homicide or vehicular assault
  • driving a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance
  • failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving death or injury
  • perjury or making a false statement to the Department of Revenue over the ownership or use of a vehicle
  • three convictions for reckless driving within two years, and
  • two convictions for DUI within five years. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-125(1)(a).)

Reinstating Your License

The length of your suspension or revocation will depend on the reason for it. In general, the department may not suspend your license for more than one year. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-132(1).) Your license may be revoked up to a period of years. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-125(2).)

Once your suspension or revocation period has ended, you must reinstate your license before you can legally drive. The reinstatement fee is $95, plus any additional costs and fees. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-132.) In addition, you may have to complete other requirements such as attending alcohol or drug programs. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-132(2)(a)(I).)

Charges for Driving After Suspension or Revocation

You may be charged with a misdemeanor if you drive when your license is suspended or revoked. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-138(1).)

In many cases, the maximum penalty is six months in jail and a fine of not more than $500. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-138(1)(a).) If you have a second or subsequent conviction within five years, you may not be eligible for a driver’s license for three years. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-138(1)(b).)

Some convictions for driving after suspension or revocation, including suspensions that occur because of DUI, carry a minimum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-138(1)(d)(I). The maximum sentence for these convictions is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. (Colo. Rev. Stat. §42-2-138(1)(d)(I).) A second or subsequent conviction carries a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail and a maximum sentence of two years, and a fine between $500 and $3,000. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-138(1)(d)(I).) If you have a second or subsequent conviction within five years, you may be ineligible for a license for four years. (Colo. Rev. Stat. §42-2-138(1)(e).)

If you drive while your license is revoked, you may be deemed a habitual offender and face different penalties, including a minimum jail sentence of 30 days or a $3,000 fine. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-206.)

Seeking Help When You Are Charged With Driving After Suspension or Revocation

Consider consulting an attorney right away if you are charged with driving after suspension or revocation. As you have read, a conviction comes with potentially severe penalties, including the possibility of significant jail time and steep fines. Your ability to find and travel to a job, to go to school, and obtain insurance may all be affected. While the law provides for specific penalties, the result in your specific case will depend on how prosecutors and judges in your city or community view the crime. An attorney who is familiar with how your local court system may offer the best guidance.

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find criminal defense lawyers near you.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
DEFEND YOUR RIGHTS

Talk to a Defense attorney

We've helped 95 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you