Colorado DMV License Suspension Hearing
The DMV hearing is much like a miniature trial, where the police officer will testify against you, and you will have the opportunity to testify as well. The hearing is very brief, usually lasting between 20 minutes and one hour. The police officer will try to prove to the hearing officer that:
- There was probable cause to stop your vehicle,
- There was probable cause to arrest you,
- The breath or blood sample was taken from you legally,
- The blood or breath test was accurate,
- Your result was 0.08 or higher, and
- You were properly advised of the law by the police officer.
If the officer fails to prove any of the above listed items, the action to revoke your driving privilege will be dismissed, and you will keep your license. If, on the other hand, the officer’s testimony is found both credible and sufficient to support a revocation, then your license will get revoked as of that moment. If you are revoked, you are given the opportunity to ask the hearing officer to consider granting you a probationary license. This will usually occur at the same hearing, and the probationary license portion of the hearing will begin as soon as the decision to revoke your driving privilege has been made.
While you will also have the right to testify at the DMV hearing, it is recommended that you follow the advice of your attorney when deciding whether or not you should speak. You also have the right not to testify, and this may be in your best interest.
It is strongly recommended that you have a lawyer with you at the hearing. The defenses that are likely to win your hearing are generally technical in nature, and often center around the legal admissibility of evidence. An experienced DUI lawyer may be able to legally prohibit some or all of the evidence from being used against you. Even if the hearing officer believes that you were driving under the influence, if that belief is based on evidence that cannot legally be considered, you will win your case.
Lastly, a blood alcohol result below 0.08 will not result in this type of revocation. While anything over a 0.05 puts you at risk of a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) conviction in your court case, it does not violate Colorado’s Express Consent law, and will not revoke you. Be advised, however, that a DWAI conviction carries 8 points against your license, and could lead to a suspension of your driving privileges due to excessive points.