If You Get Behind the Wheel When You’re Not Supposed To, Get Ready For Some Serious Consequences
If you think getting behind the wheel while your Colorado driver’s license is suspended or revoked is no big deal, you don’t know about the legal troubles awaiting you for Driving Under Restraint (DUR). The limitations that authorities place on your driving privileges after a DUI, an excessive number of moving violations, or for any other reason aren’t suggestions or recommendations. They are equivalent to an El Paso County Court order, and as with the violation of any other court order, ignoring the terms of your license suspension or revocation is in itself a criminal offense.
If you have a suspended or revoked license and you are thinking about going for a drive, here is what you need to know about the potential consequences under Colorado’s driving under restraint laws:
What Is Driving Under Restraint in Colorado?
Driver’s license revocations, suspensions, and limitations are sanctions designed to punish those who violate traffic laws or fail to comply with other legal obligations. To ensure that these restrictions carry weight, Colorado law allows prosecutors to charge individuals with driving under restraint if they drive a vehicle after authorities order them to surrender their license.
“Under restraint” means any restriction on your driving privileges, including license suspensions and revocations. There are several reasons your license could be restrained, from DUI and vehicular homicide convictions to an excessive number of moving violations to failure to pay fines or child support. The consequences of a DUR conviction largely depend on whether or not the restraint placed upon your ability to drive was due to an alcohol-related offense.
Non-DUI, Alcohol, or Drug-Related Restraint
Suppose you drive while your license is suspended or revoked and the restraint on your license is due to something other than a conviction of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), or UDD (Underage Drinking and Driving). In that case, you may face conviction for a class A traffic infraction. The consequences include fines of between $15 to $100, a surcharge, and points on your driving record. These infractions cannot be sealed or expunged and remain on your record forever.
An individual convicted of a second or subsequent DUR for non-alcohol or drug-related restraint five years after the first conviction faces even harsher consequences. They cannot obtain a driver’s license or extend driving privileges for three years after that second or subsequent conviction.
DUI and Alcohol and Drug-Related Restraints
Given how seriously Colorado law and El Paso County prosecutors treat driving under the influence, it’s not surprising that the consequences of driving while your license is suspended or revoked due to a conviction for these offenses are more severe than those of unrelated restraints.
If the restraint was solely or partially because of a conviction of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, or UDD (even if the DUI was in another state), getting behind the wheel places the individual at risk for a class 2 misdemeanor traffic conviction. The penalties include:
- A mandatory minimum of 10 days and up to 90 days in jail.
- Fines of between $150-$300.
- Points on your driving record.
Colorado courts cannot grant probation or a suspended sentence for DUR convictions.
A second or subsequent conviction for DUR with an alcohol-related restraint within five years of a first conviction comes with even more severe penalties, including ten days up to two years in jail, fines of between $500-$3000, and a four-year license suspension.
Facing Colorado Springs Driving Under Restraint Charges?
Driving under restraint in Colorado has taken away your driving privileges is no small matter. You can go to jail upon conviction of DUR, and at the very least, you will lengthen the time your license is under restraint. You already know the restrictions not having your driver’s license puts on your life, parenting ability, and ability to get (and keep) a job. Take steps now to lessen the impact of your decision to drive when you license is under restraint by hiring an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.