Out-of-State Residents

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 state’s DMV.

Visitors to Colorado

If an out-of-state resident suffers a Colorado driver’s license revocation, Colorado must 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 Registry is a computerized database of drivers who have been suspended, revoked, or convicted of serious driving offenses such as DUI and DWAI. 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. Typically, all major traffic violations such as DUI and reckless driving are reported. Less serious tickets such as speeding or failure to signal are not always reported.

Driver’s license revocations can be worse for out-of-state residents. The intricacies of the Colorado DUI law limit opportunities for non-residents to reinstate driving privileges early if revoked for failing or refusing a test.

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, and 5) you are a resident of the receiving state.  If one or more of these conditions is not met, transfer of probation is at the discretion of the receiving state.

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.