I was visiting Colorado and got a DUI. What do I do?
A Colorado DUI arrest can be a trying and emotional experience. Attempting to navigate the intricacies of the Colorado DMV as well as the Colorado criminal court system for a DUI case is not an easy task. It is even more complicated if you receive a DUI while visiting Colorado and are a resident of another state. Not only might you have to deal with the consequences of a DUI conviction in Colorado, but you may also have consequences with your home state’s DMV.
Non-Resident DUI Considerations
The first hurdle that most non-residents accused of DUI in Colorado must address is getting back home legally. If you are required to post bond prior to being released from jail, it is highly likely that one of your bond conditions is that you are not allowed to leave the state of Colorado without court permission. This can be problematic as many times DUI offenders do not have their first court appearance for several weeks after the date of offense. Having an experienced Colorado DUI attorney at your side to file a motion, help with an add-on, and assist in filing the court required paperwork to allow you to return home is critical to keeping you employed and minimizing the initial damage that a Colorado DUI charge can have on you.
If you submitted to a breath test or a refused testing, it is highly likely that the police officer confiscated your driver’s license. This can make it problematic if you are trying to fly home or do not have another form of identification. You also will need to request a DMV Hearing within seven (7) calendar days if you failed a breath test or refused testing. Having the assistance of a seasoned Colorado DUI attorney is critical to ensure you do not miss this deadline and that you understand the process of requesting this hearing in person or in writing. Failure to request this hearing with the statutory time frame will result in the automatic revocation of your driving privileges in Colorado.
If an out-of-state resident suffers a Colorado driver’s license revocation, Colorado is required to inform the driver’s home-state of the revocation. Currently forty-five states, including Colorado, participate in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. In addition, the National Driver Register is a computerized database of drivers who have been suspended, revoked, or convicted of serious driving offenses such as DUI and DWAI. The records maintained at the NDR consist of identification information including name, date of birth, gender, driver license number, and reporting State. Based on information received as a result of an NDR search, Problem Pointer Driver System will “point” the State of Inquiry (SOI) to the State of Record (SOR), where an individual’s driver status and history information is maintained.When you apply for a driver’s license, the Interstate Driver’s License Compact Rules requires your home state to check this registry to see if your name appears; if it does, you will be denied a driver’s license.
What this means is that if you receive a traffic conviction in Colorado while you are a resident of another state, that conviction will be reported back to your home state and you may face DMV penalties such as a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Colorado reports all convictions to the home state. Usually the home state does not add them to the driving record or take action unless the reported conviction is for major traffic violations such as DUI, reckless driving, driving under restraint, etc.
Driver’s license revocations can be worse for out-of-state residents. The intricacies of the Colorado DUI law deny the ability for non-residents to reinstate driving privileges early unless a driver claims and can prove legitimate Colorado residency.
In addition, if you have a prior drunk driving conviction, or your case is aggravated because of a high BAC or an accident, you may face jail time in Colorado. In fact, incarceration is mandatory for multiple offenders.
Probationary sentences are also complicated under Colorado law. Pursuant to the Colorado Revised Statutes, an alcohol evaluation and monitored sobriety are common sentences even for first offenses. If you are sentenced to DUI probation in Colorado and you are a resident of another state, the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision allows for the transfer of probation to your home state. Transfer of probation depends both on Colorado as well as the state to which you want to be transferred (the receiving state). The receiving state must accept a transfer of probation for a DUI if the following conditions are met: 1) it is a second or subsequent conviction for DUI or DWAI, 2) the term of probation is more than 90 days, 3) there has been full compliance with probation in Colorado prior to transfer, 4) there is a plan of supervision for the receiving state, 5) you are a resident of the receiving state, and 6) there is not a pending or unserved jail sentence. If one or more of these conditions is not met, transfer of probation is at the discretion of the receiving state and will likely be denied.
Most judges and district attorney’s do not understand the complexities involved in transferring probation so it is essential that you contact an experienced Denver DUI Defense Attorney to help avoid some of the common pitfalls and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today at (303) 991-5896 or contact us through this website.