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How many points will suspend my driver’s license?
Sun, 19 July, 2009
Speeding tickets. Just about everyone gets one every now and again. In addition to the possible criminal penalties, such as fines, classes, community service, or even jail, most driving offense in Colorado carry a point “penalty” as well. The Department of Revenue has the authority to suspend the license of a person that accumulates too many points over a certain period of time.
Here is a chart that outlines the point system in Colorado:
Age Group 12 month 24 month Period of License
Minor Driver (16-17) 6 points 7 points
Minor (18-20) 9 points 12 points 14 points
Adult (21 and over) 12 points 18 points
For example, if an adult driver were to accumulate 12 or more points in any consecutive 12 month period, the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) which is over the Division of Motor Vehicles, may take an action to suspend that person’s driving privileges for up to a year.
A few important things to keep in mind: first, points are tabulated by date of offense, not by date of conviction. This means even if you finally plead guilty to a case a year later, you need to be mindful of the dates of offense for your other points to avoid a suspension.
Second, points are tabulated on a consecutive 12 or 24 month period, not on a calendar year. If you are at, or above the point total as scheduled above, in any consecutive 12 or 24 month period you may be subject to a suspension.
Per the statute, the DOR must notify the driver of the pending point suspension, and the driver is entitled to a hearing to determine whether the suspension is appropriate under the statute. Even if the suspension is upheld by the hearing officer at the time of the point suspension hearing, a driver may request a probationary license. This probationary license is often called a “red license”. This license allows the driver to drive with restrictions as the DOR hearing officer finds “reasonable and nceessary”. Typically a person would request a probationary license to go to and from work or school, doctors appointments, etc. In many cases, a probationary license will have restrictions as to the hours and locations a person may drive. If a person is found to be in violation of these conditions the license is subject to cancellation.
See Colorado Revised Statute 42-2-127
How do I know how many points I have against my license?
The easiest way to find out it is to go to contact the DMV and request a Colorado Driver History. The printout of your history typically costs a couple dollars, but is well worth it if you think you are cutting it close on points. The Driver History will show all prior citations, including location, date of offense, date of conviction and points certified against you. For example, if you are charged with a 6 point speeding, but end up pleading it down to a 2 point violation (such as “defective vehicle”), the Driver history will reflect that you received 2 points for the violation and that you plead to a defective vehicle charge.
Some common charges and their respective points: (as of 5/1/09)
Leaving the Scene of an accident….12
5-9 MPH over speed limits….1
40 or more over…12
Failure to stop for school bus…6
Eluding or attempting to elude a police officer…12 (can also be charged as a felony if certain circumstances apply)
There are many other violations that carry points as well. Please refer to your ticket for point totals or to CRS 42-2-127.
If you have questions or concerns about a pending point suspension, or if you think you might lose your license if you plead guilty on a new ticket, don’t hesitate to call us at (719) 227-0022. We would be happy to discuss the facts of your case and advise you of your options.
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