Non-Residents & Administrative Penalties
What Happens if You Are Arrested for DUI in Colorado? Call (720) 619-2676.
Non-Colorado residents are subject to the same administrative penalties as Colorado residents for alcohol-related offenses. See the penalties section for possible administrative penalties and driver's license ramifications. If you need trusted counsel through this time, call on the Denver defense attorneys at The Orr Law Firm. We have 40+ years' collective experience!
You can set up a free phone consultation by calling (720) 619-2676.
How the IDLC Can Affect Your Case
A driver arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) in Colorado who is licensed in another state faces unique challenges because of the Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC). The IDLC is an agreement by 45 states to share information about driving-related arrests and convictions. An experienced Colorado DUI defense lawyer will advise whether the IDLC will affect a driver's privileges in his or her home state.
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/DWI. This means that an individual arrested for drunk-driving in Colorado may face a suspended license and/or a fine in the state that issued the driver's license.
- In Colorado, driving under the influence (DUI) arrests triggers two separate cases:
- One with the criminal court
- One with the Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles(DMV)
Understanding the Administrative Process & the IDLC
When a driver is arrested for drunk-driving in Colorado, the Colorado DMV automatically begins the process of revoking the driver's privileges. The driver has only seven days from the date of arrest, in most cases, to request an Express Consent hearing at the Colorado DMV. If no hearing is requested, the license will automatically be revoked for the appropriate period of time. How that revocation affects the driver's privileges in his or her home state depends on whether that state recognizes and acts upon administrative revocations from another state, in this case Colorado.
Some states are completely 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 court conviction, some will only take action if the burden of obtaining a criminal 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 drivers licensed in states that belong to the Interstate Driver's License Compact 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. If the driver's home state takes no action to revoke privileges, the driver still needs to be very careful as most states’ laws state if the license is revoked in the home state or any other state, they can be convicted of driving under restraint, suspension, or revocation. A non-Colorado resident, upon revocation at the Colorado DMV for a DUI per se violation, will not be allowed to reinstate early with any type of restricted license.
Colorado does not have the "authority" to allow out of state drivers to have a restricted license in another state. However, the non-resident drive still must go through the process of regular reinstatement with the Colorado DMV in order to have the hold lifted in the National Driver Register upon serving the full period of revocation. Thus, non-residents can face harsher or more severe penalties in terms of driving privileges than Colorado residents.
Hiring a Denver DUI defense attorney can help you avoid such penalties and guide you through the process to a successful outcome. Call The Orr Law Firm today at (720) 619-2676!