Colorado’s Out of State Driving Consequences in DUI Cases

Ski season is in full swing here in Colorado, and many out-of-state residents will make their journey to Colorado to hit the slopes. If you decide to make that journey, remember, as always, not to drink and drive. A Colorado DUI arrest can have long-term consequences to your driver’s license.

A large number of our ski resorts can be found in Summit County, Colorado. In 2012 Summit County had almost three-hundred DUI/DWAI arrests. Across the state, that number was almost thirty-thousand. These cases involved both in-state and out-of-state residents.

What happens if you don’t have a Colorado driver’s license; can the Colorado DMV affect your driving privileges elsewhere? The answer to that question is yes, and here’s why: Currently 45 states, including Colorado, participate in what is known as the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. The Compact states that if an out-of-state driver suffers a revocation in Colorado, then the Colorado DMV must inform the driver’s home-state of the revocation, which they will then honor, and vice-versa. There is a national database, known as The National Driver Registry, where all of this information is exchanged. If, for instance, a person were to apply for a driver’s license in another state during the revocation, that state will check the national registry for the person’s name, and if located on the national registry, the driver’s license application will be denied.

Further, if a person is caught by law enforcement driving during the revocation, both in Colorado or out-of-state, the driver risks criminal penalties, including the possibility of jail time for driving while under revocation. Finally, out-of-state residents are not able to participate in Colorado’s early reinstatement program, which means they must wait the entire duration of the revocation period before being eligible to reinstate (restore) their driving privileges. Whether you are here on vacation or a Colorado native, be safe out there and always remember not to drink and drive.

If you are charged with DUI in Colorado while on vacation, be sure to contact a reputable Denver DUI attorney to help you through the process. An experienced defense lawyer can assist not only with defending your case in court, but also help you limit the times you may need to travel back to the State to appear in criminal court.