Colorado's DMV has a system for tracking points on your driver's license. Every traffic ticket you receive results in points accumulating on your driving record. The number of points that accrue depend on the nature of the traffic offense. Some examples are:
Speeding 5-9 mph over the posted limit - 1 point
Driving an unsafe or defective vehicle - 2 points
Running a stop sign or traffic light - 4 points
Speeding 10-19 mph over the posted limit - 4 points
Failure to stop for a school bus - 6 points
Speeding 20-39 over the posted limit - 6 points
Reckless driving - 8 points
Driving while ability impaired by alcohol (DWAI) - 8 points
Driving under the influence (DUI) - 12 points
Speeding 40 or more mph over the posted limit - 12 points
Hit and Run - 12 points plus
Drivers in Colorado may accumulate certain numbers of points without DMV consequences based on the age of the driver. However if they reach the number of points illustrated below, the DMV will suspend their license for excessive points.
- Adults (over 21):
- 12 points in 12 consecutive months
- 18 points in 24 consecutive months
- Minor drivers (ages 18-21)
- Nine points in 12 consecutive months
- 12 points in 24 consecutive months
- 14 or more points between the ages of 18-21
- Minor drivers (under 18)
- Six points in 12 consecutive months
- Seven points prior to turning 18
Once one of these triggers has been reached, the DMV will notify you by mail that your license is being suspended and that you are entitled to a hearing.
What can a Colorado criminal defense lawyer do to help?
First, they can attempt to prevent you from reaching these excessive points in the first place. If you've been charged with multiple traffic offenses, call a lawyer before speaking with the prosecutor or the court. A lawyer may alleviate some of the burdens of these charges. Second, if you've already received notice of suspension, a lawyer can represent you at the points hearing to help you receive a restricted or "red license" so that you can still drive to work and other restricted activities.
In short, if you face a suspension of your driving privileges in Colorado, you need to consult with a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights.