DMV Hearings

There are two parts or aspects to all DUI cases, a civil aspect and a criminal aspect.

The civil aspect refers to having a DMV (Division of Motor Vehicle) hearing before a DMV officer. At this hearing the officer must determine if the person drove a motor vehicle in the state of Colorado, and drove while their BAC (blood alcohol content) was .08 or above, or that the person's ability to drive safely was substantially affected by alcohol.

If the officer so finds, he will revoke that person's driver's license for nine (9) months for a first DUI, and twelve (12) months for a second or subsequent DUI. On a first time offense, if the person makes a contract to have an interlock device put into his or her vehicle, then after a thirty (30) day period, this person may drive again as long as he or she has this interlock device in the vehicle for the remaining eight (8) months.

If a person has been found to have a BAC of .17 or more, than he or she must have the interlock device installed in the vehicle, and maintain it for two (2) years.

The criminal aspect refers to dealing with a District Attorney, possibly having a trial, and possibly being sentenced. That person could do jail time up to one year in jail, be fined up to one thousand dollars, or receive both such fine and imprisonment. That person would be ordered to complete an alcohol evaluation and follow the recommendations, such as alcohol classes or therapy, attending AA sessions and taking anabuse. That person would also be ordered to perform community service, and to pay Court costs and possible restitution.

"Restitution" refers to paying to make another whole, and usually is ordered only when there is an accident. If a person runs down a light pole, for instance, or runs down a mail box or runs into an electrical power box, he or she would be ordered to pay to have such damage fixed. Hopefully someone, either the defendant or the victim, had an adequate insurance policy which will pay for these damages. Sometimes the defendant only has to pay the deductable to the victim, if the victim had an adequate insurance policy, and sometimes the defendant is ordered to pay back the insurance company who had to pay to fix the damage caused by the accident. "Restituion" also refers to paying back law enforcement authorities for the cost of their blood test, if the person took such a test.

A person may also request a DMV (Division of Motor Vehicle) hearing before a DMV officer, if that person has received too many points on his or her license, and has been suspended or revoked. The hearing officer has the authority to grant this person a probationary license, familiarly known as a "red" license, which refers to a driver's license which allows the person to drive only to designated places, such as to work, school, alcohol or drug treatement, or to a daycare for their child. This license therefore will contain certain restrictions which the hearing officer as a representative of the Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, considers reasonable and necessary.

The actual driver's license will state on its back exactly where the person is allowed to drive, and what hours he or she may do so. So for example if the person can only drive to his or her job between the hours of 7:30 A.M. until 6:30 P.M. on Monday through Friday, then if that person drives on the week–end or drives up the the mountains to ski, he or she can be charged with driving without a license, and will be subject to cancellation of this probationary license.

You may look up Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) in Title 42, Article 2, Section 127, for further information.