Colorado DMV License Suspension
If you are charged with a drunk driving offense in Colorado, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, will revoke your driver’s license. You have a right to a hearing to contest the revocation of your license, but you must act within seven days to preserve this right to a DMV hearing. If you request the hearing within the seven days, you will later be notified by the DMV of the date and time that your hearing has been set.
In breath test cases, or “refusal” cases, the seven days that you have to request a hearing start when you are arrested. Weekend days are included when counting the seven days. The police officer will give you a yellow piece of paper called a “Notice of Revocation.” You must bring the Notice of Revocation to the DMV to request the hearing. The officer may have confiscated your driver’s license, however, the Notice of Revocation works as a temporary license for the same seven day period.
In cases where you took a blood test, rather than breath, your Notice of Revocation will be mailed to you by the DMV. (This is because the police do not have a blood result at the time of your arrest. Your blood must first be sent off to a laboratory and tested.) You must request a hearing within seven days of the date the notice was mailed to you. It is important that the DMV has your correct address, or you may risk not being informed of your revocation.
Once you request a hearing, your privilege to drive will be extended until the date and time of the hearing. If you are revoked at the hearing, you will not be legally allowed to drive – even from the hearing back home.
If revoked at the hearing on a first offense, the revocation will be for 90 days if the driver agreed to take a blood or breath test for the police. The revocation is for one year if the person refused to take a blood alcohol test. Only if you submitted to a blood alcohol test will you be eligible to request a Probationary License. If you refused the test when you were arrested, then you will not be allowed to drive for one full year - with no exceptions.
This hearing at the DMV is unrelated to the criminal court case against you, and deals only with the matter of your driver’s license. However, the hearing may give your DUI attorney the opportunity to cross-examine the police officer in your case prior to the criminal case proceedings. The official record of the hearing transcript may later be used to impeach the officer at trial.
The outcome of the DMV hearing will have no influence on the outcome of your criminal case, and vice versa. However, be aware that certain convictions in criminal court will result in an automatic suspension at the DMV. In addition, you may be at risk of a point suspension, if you are convicted of enough minor offenses to exceed your point limit.