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Out of State Drivers

How a Colorado DUI Affects Out-of-State Drivers

What Happens When a Non-Resident Is Arrested for DUI?

Out-of-state drivers or non-residents will face the same penalties as Colorado residents for a DUI charge – both administratively and criminally. However, non-residents are not eligible for early reinstatement or a restricted license upon having their license revoked in Colorado for excess BAC or a chemical test refusal.

Since the Colorado DMV does not have the power or authority to authorize a restricted or probationary driver’s license in any other state, out-of-state drivers may face a harsher administrative penalty when arrested for DUI in Colorado. They will have to serve the full revocation period handed down by the Colorado DMV.

Additionally, once revoked, non-residents must still follow the Colorado DMV’s requirements for reinstatement. If a non-resident fails to comply with all reinstatement requirements, the Colorado DMV will not lift the driver’s license hold in the National Register and the driver will not be able to reinstate their license in their home state.

How the IDLC Could Affect Your Driving Privileges

If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, DUID, or DWAI in Colorado and are licensed in another state, you could face unique challenges because of the Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC). The IDLC is an agreement between 45 states to share pertinent information about driving-related arrests and convictions.

Only five states – Wisconsin, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Michigan – are not part of the IDLC. The other 45 states have agreed to notify one another when a driver is arrested or convicted of DUI. This means that non-residents arrested for DUI in Colorado may face a suspended license and/or a fine in their home state.

Non-residents charged with DUI in Colorado need an experienced DUI attorney to fight for their rights and help them avoid a lengthy revocation. At the Orr Law Firm, we specialize in DUI defense. Call us at (303) 818-2448 today.

Understanding the Administrative Process

When a driver is arrested for DUI in Colorado, the DMV automatically begins the process of revoking their driving privileges. The driver only has seven days from the date of arrest, in most cases, to request an express consent hearing with the Colorado DMV. If no hearing is requested, the license will automatically be revoked.

How that revocation affects the driver's privileges in their home state depends on whether that state recognizes and acts upon administrative revocations from another state – which would be Colorado in this case.

Some states are reciprocal, meaning that if Colorado suspends a driver's license for nine months, the licensing state will do the same. Other states will only recognize or take action after being notified of a DUI/DWAI criminal conviction, rather than an administrative DMV action. Among the states that will only act upon a conviction, some will only take action if the burden of obtaining a conviction in the other state is equal to that of the home state.

Some states may add additional penalties, and some will impose fewer consequences than Colorado.

The good news for DUI offenders licensed in states that belong to the IDLC is that, despite promises to notify one another about driving-related crimes, communication between the states is not perfect. If Colorado never communicates the driver's loss of driving privileges to the licensing state, no other action will be taken.

However, even if the driver's home state takes no action to revoke their privileges, the driver should still think twice about getting behind the wheel. Most states’ laws state that if a driver's license is revoked in their home state or any other state, the driver could be convicted of driving under restraint, suspension, or revocation.

License Reinstatement for Out-of-State Drivers

For a first-time DUI offense involving excess BAC in Colorado, out-of-state drivers are subject to a nine-month revocation of their driving privileges with no eligibility for early reinstatement. If your express consent hearing is missed or lost, you will be required to do the following to reinstate your license in any state. Colorado will not release the hold on your license if you do not meet the reinstatement requirements outlined below.

First-Time DUI Offense with a BAC of .080-.149

For reinstatement following a DUI offense, you must:

  • Provide an Out of State Residency Affidavit to bypass the SR-22 insurance requirement
  • Complete the Alcohol Certification Form (DR 2598)
  • Complete the Application for Reinstatement (DR 2870)
  • Mail all forms and fees to the address provided on the Application for Reinstatement

First-Time DUI Offense with a BAC Over .150

For reinstatement as a high BAC offender, you must:

  • Complete an Application for Reinstatement (DR 2870)
  • Complete Level II alcohol education and therapy in the state in which you are claiming residency
  • Provide an Out of State Residency Affidavit to bypass the SR-22 insurance requirement
  • Provide a Non-Ownership Affidavit to bypass the two-year ignition interlock requirement
  • Mail all forms and fees to the address provided on the Application for Reinstatement

First-Time DUI Offense with Test Refusal

First-time, non-resident DUI offenders in Colorado are subject to a one-year revocation of their driving privileges with no eligibility for early reinstatement if they refused to submit to a chemical test. If your express consent hearing is missed or is lost you will be required to do the following to reinstate your license in any state.

For reinstatement following a test refusal, you must:

  • Complete an Application for Reinstatement (DR 2870)
  • Complete Level II alcohol education and therapy in the state in which you are claiming residency
  • Provide an Out of State Residency Affidavit to bypass the SR-22 insurance requirement
  • Provide a Non-Ownership Affidavit to bypass the two-year ignition interlock requirement
  • Mail all forms and fees to the address provided on the Application for Reinstatement

Approximately three weeks after the DMV receives your application materials with all required documents and your payment of fees, they will send you a Letter of Clearance. You must then apply for a driver's license in the state in which you are claiming residency. Only after you have the license in-hand is it lawful for you to drive.

Alcohol Education & Therapy Requirements

To meet the alcohol education and therapy requirement as a non-resident of Colorado, you must:

  • Obtain an independent evaluation from a state certified provider (in the state where you reside)
  • The provider must make a professional recommendation as to the treatment requirements
  • You, the respondent, must then complete the recommended treatment
  • The provider must send the DMV an official letter stating:
    1. The date the evaluation was done
    2. The recommended treatment level and hours
    3. Date treatment/education was started
    4. Date treatment/education was completed
    5. Total number of hours completed
    6. Whether the respondent successfully completed the program

Contact the Orr Law Firm at (303) 818-2448 if you have further questions. We are here to help you navigate the DUI process as an out-of-state driver in Colorado.

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