How Does the Colorado Driver’s License Point System Work?
Colorado traffic law provides numerous ways a driver can lose their privilege to drive in Colorado through a suspension of the driving privilege.
One of the primary and most common sanctions under Colorado traffic law is a suspension based upon the accumulation of too many penalty points within a set period of time. Under the Colorado driver’s license point system, a Colorado driver starts out their driving career with a clean record with no points. If the driver accumulates too many points against their driving record, within a certain period of time as provided by statute, their driver’s license is suspended.
Each time an individual is convicted of a Denver traffic violation, or a traffic violation in any other area of Colorado, the applicable county or municipal court notifies the Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles of that conviction and the specified number of points are posted to the driving record of the individual. A conviction occurs when a person pleads guilty, acknowledges guilt by paying a ticket, accepts a conviction as a result of a plea agreement, or, in some circumstances, by default judgment upon failure to appear in Court or pay a sum due.
Each type of conviction causes a certain number of points to be placed on a Colorado traffic record. Generally, the more serious the violation the greater number of points associated with it. Some Colorado traffic violations carry as much as twelve (12) total points and thus, among other sanctions, result in a point suspension.
Points assessed against a Colorado traffic record are not erased when an individual obtains a new license or gets reinstated. Though points that are older may no longer have any significance in relation to a potential point suspension points are not removed from a Colorado driver’s record upon the passage of time.
When Are Points Recorded on My Colorado Motor Vehicle Record?
Points associated with a Colorado traffic violation conviction are not assessed, and are not recorded on an individual’s Colorado Motor Vehicle Record (MVR), until a conviction for the specific traffic violation is entered by a court or other applicable agency. However, in computing whether a person has exceeded the points allowed within a set period of time, and is thereby subject to suspension, only the dates upon which the violations occurred is relevant. The dates of conviction have no applicability to the computation.
The system whereby points are not assessed until a traffic violation conviction enters of record with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles, but with the date of the violation controlling in the computation of points over a set period of time, can create unexpected outcomes. For instance, if an individual is issued a ticket and the case does not resolve for an extended period, the individual may be subject to a suspension many months after receiving the ticket that contributed to bringing his or her point total above the number allowed.
About Driver’s License Point Suspensions
Point suspensions can run concurrently with some other types of license suspensions, but must be imposed consecutively with other suspensions. For instance, if a person refuses an alcohol test under the Colorado Express Consent Law, a subsequent point suspension cannot be imposed concurrently. However, if a person takes the test to determine their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) after a traffic stop, and thereafter incurs a point suspension, the Express Consent suspension, and the point suspension, can run concurrently.
Once a point suspension is imposed a Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles Hearings Officer determines the length of the suspension. A suspension can be up to and including one year from the suspension? initial imposition, but can be less. The DMV Hearing Officer may, but is not required to, issue a probationary license permitting the person limited driving privileges. A probationary license is restricted as to driving locations and driving times and is normally effective for the period of the suspension. The probationary license is typically issued on the condition that the individual receive no traffic violations during the period of the suspension. A probationary license is limited to driving only within Colorado and cannot be used as a driver? license outside the State of Colorado.
How Driver’s License Points May Be Accumulated
The number of points accumulated within designated time periods, which cause a suspension of a Colorado driver’s license, are as follows:
MINOR DRIVER UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE:
MINOR DRIVER BETWEEN 18 AND 21:
All chauffeur violations must have been received by a driver operating a motor vehicle in use as a public or common carrier of persons or property for the Chauffeur schedule of points to be applicable. If not entirely all the points are received by the driver while he or she is operating a motor vehicle then in use as a public or common carrier of persons or property, the applicable point totals for a non-chauffer driver apply.
Legal Disclaimer – The information contained at this web site is not intended to be legal advice. Information on this web site regarding Colorado traffic law is general content only and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. Information on this web site is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. This web site is not be updated routinely to reflect the most current Colorado traffic law. Individuals should consult an experienced Colorado traffic attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
Colorado Traffic Lawyer Articles by Ross Koplin