Like other states, Colorado follows a “points” system for keeping track of drivers’ speeding citations and other traffic-related offenses. If you accumulate too many points, your driver’s license can be suspended. In Colorado, the points system is managed by the Department of Revenue, and is separate from the criminal penalties you can face for offenses such as reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, or driving under the influence (DUI).
To make sure that you do not lose your license due to accumulation of points, it is important to understand how points accumulate and how to fight a possible suspension if you exceed the maximum number of points allowed. At Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys provide experienced legal representation for driver’s license suspension hearings in Denver and throughout Colorado.
Ways You Can Accumulate Points on Your Colorado Driving Record
Events that Result in Points on Your Record
There are several different ways that you can accumulate points on your driving record under Colorado law. Often, people don’t even realize that their actions are adding points to their records. For example, if you receive a speeding ticket and simply mail in payment, or if you fail to appear for your court date and receive a default judgment, these will both add points to your record. Pleading guilty or being found guilty at trial or a final hearing will result in points as well.
Points for Various Traffic-Related Offenses
Section 42-2-127(5) of the Colorado Revised Code establishes the points that are assigned to various traffic-related offenses. The following are some examples for common citations and charges:
- DUI or DUI per se – 12 points
- Failure to observe a stop sign or traffic signal – 4 points
- Following too closely – 4 points
- Illegal street racing – 12 points
- Improper passing – 4 points
- Reckless driving – 8 points
- Speeding (five to nine miles per hour) – 1 point
- Speeding (10 to 19 miles per hour) – 4 points
- Speeding (20 to 39 miles per hour) – 6 points
- Speeding (40 or more miles per hour) – 12 points
Driver’s License Suspension for Accumulation of Points
The number of points you can accumulate before facing a license suspension varies depending on your age. Adults have slightly more leniency than minors (
drivers under the age of 21), though note that some offenses (such as DUI) can trigger a Department of Revenue suspension on their own – even for adults. The point limits for driver’s license suspensions in Colorado are (C.R.S. Section 42-2-127(1)(a)):
License Suspension – Adult Drivers Over 21
- 12 points in any 12 consecutive months
- 18 points in any 24 consecutive months
License Suspension – Minor Drivers Age 18 to 21
- 9 points in any 12 consecutive months
- 12 points in any 24 consecutive months
- 14 or more points between the ages of 18 and 21
License Suspension – Minor Drivers Under Age 18
- 6 points in 12 consecutive months
- 7 points prior to turning 18 years old
In addition, note that for certain serious traffic offenses the criminal punishment can include automatic suspension or revocation of your license regardless of the number of points on your driving record. Finally, all points are calculated based on the date of offense, not date of conviction.
Fighting Your Driver’s License Suspension at the DMV Hearing
If you accumulate enough points to trigger a suspension, the Colorado Department of Revenue will send a letter to your last address giving you notice of the pending suspension and allowing you the opportunity to fight the suspension at a DMV hearing. You should always request a hearing before letting your license get suspended.
If you do not request a hearing, your license will automatically be suspended for up to one year with no driving privileges. But, if you fight, you may be able to avoid suspension, obtain a reduced suspension, or retain limited driving privileges with a probationary (red) license during the suspension period. At Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C., we have handled thousands of DMV hearings and can help you fight your driver’s license suspension at the DMV.
Speak with an Attorney at Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. in Denver, CO Today
For more information about fighting to protect your driver’s license at a DMV hearing, you can contact our Denver or Aspen law offices for an initial consultation. To schedule a time to speak with one of our experienced traffic attorneys, call (303) 384-5280 or submit our online form today.