Driving under the influence (DUI) is against the law in Colorado. The state harshly punishes drivers who drink alcohol or use drugs before getting behind the wheel. Penalties can be especially harsh if you drive commercially.
How will a DUI impact your Colorado CDL, for example? A DUI conviction can lead to the loss of your CDL, which can prevent you from working. Fortunately, you can face DUI charges head-on, protecting your career.
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Will You Lose Your DCL If You Get a DUI in Colorado?
Generally, the court system in Colorado revokes your legal right to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) after a DUI conviction. In addition, the state has certain “disqualifying offenses” that impact your CDL, one of which includes a conviction for a DUI or driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
You may also lose your CDL if you:
- Leave the scene of an accident
- Commit a felony while using a vehicle
- Cause the death of someone while you’re operating a CMV
Other offenses that can impact your CDL include committing deadly traffic violations, driving without your CDL, tailgating, improperly changing lanes, and reckless driving.
How Long does a DUI Impact Your Colorado CDL?
A first-time DUI conviction does not generally remove your CDL privileges forever. Instead, most drivers lose their CDL for about a year after a first-time DUI conviction. However, a subsequent offense could result in a lifetime disqualification from using your CDL.
So, how will a DUI impact your Colorado CDL? A conviction for this criminal act can prevent you from legally using your CDL, stopping you from operating a CMV in the state.
Do You Lose Your License Immediately After a DUI in Colorado?
Under Colorado’s legal codes, you generally retain your license for a few days following a DUI arrest. Typically, you have seven days after your DUI arrest to request a hearing from the Department of Revenue Hearings Division.
Colorado automatically revokes your driving privileges if you do not request this hearing on time, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Note that this revocation can impact your standard driver’s license as well.
Can You Drive After a DUI in Colorado?
As we stated, you may continue to drive for a few days after a DUI in Colorado in some circumstances. However, depending on your criminal charges, the police may hold you in prison, preventing you from driving your vehicle immediately.
If you experience a DUI conviction, you generally cannot operate a CMV for a minimum of a year. However, you may retain your ability to drive non-commercial vehicles more quickly after your conviction.
Colorado sometimes allows drivers to regain their driving privileges by:
- Installing an ignition interlock device (IID)
- Completing treatment programs for alcohol usage
- Paying reinstatement fees
- Obtaining SR-22 insurance
However, these options typically do not apply to drivers who want to use a CDL. You can speak with a DUI lawyer to review the steps to get back your CDL after a DUI conviction, which might involve waiting until the restriction year expires.
Are There Other Penalties for a DUI in Colorado?
A DUI can severely impact your Colorado CDL by leading to the suspension of your license for a year. DUIs also come with other penalties that can impact you based on the outcome of your court case.
Many drivers face fines or even incarceration after a DUI conviction. In addition to legal fallout from a conviction, you may find that your insurance increases after a DUI. Some employers may decline to hire you if you have DUIs on your record.
Therefore, even after you get your CDL back after a conviction, you may have difficulty finding a job in your previous career. Fortunately, you have options to protect your license and your future after a DUI arrest.
How Can You Protect Your CDL Following Colorado DUI Charges?
If you got arrested for a DUI in Colorado, you have the Constitutional right to seek legal representation to protect yourself. A DUI lawyer can step in to help with your criminal claim and your license hearing.
Depending on your situation, a lawyer may focus on the following:
- Getting your charges dismissed
- Having your charges reduced
- Representing you in court
DUI lawyers in Colorado also make sure you request your administrative hearing in time to prevent the automatic suspension of your license.
How do You Pick a DUI Lawyer in Colorado?
A DUI can take away your ability to use your CDL in Colorado. Fortunately, you can work with a lawyer to protect your driving privileges. When looking for a lawyer, seek out a firm with experience handling similar cases and a record of success.
Your DUI lawyer in Colorado can advise you on how to plead, look over any plea bargains offered by the prosecution, and support you through every step of the legal process.
When Is the Best Time to Contact a DUI Lawyer in Colorado?
You can reach out to a lawyer for assistance immediately after your arrest. Get help before speaking to the police or prosecution about your case. They can use anything you say against you, which could cost your CDL.
Protect Your Colorado CDL After a DUI Arrest
How will a DUI impact your Colorado CDL? Unfortunately, a conviction can lead to the loss of your CDL for a year or more. Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to avoid a conviction by reaching out to a DUI lawyer Christian Schwaner.
Find out more about how DUI attorneys can help by calling or completing our online contact form.