DMV hearings, also called administrative hearings, take place at the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles office. There are three (3) main types of hearings:
- Express Consent Hearings (EC)
- Point Suspension Hearings (PSH)
- Probationary Driver’s License (PDL) Hearings
Express Consent Hearings (EC)
The most common is the Express Consent hearing. A person charged with an alcohol-related driving offense in Colorado will be facing separate consequences from the Colorado DMV. The DMV in Colorado can revoke or suspend a person's privilege to drive, even if the person does not have a Colorado driver's license.
The Express Consent hearing is a preponderance hearing that determines whether a person drove a vehicle when the person's blood alcohol content was .08 or more at the time of driving or within two hours after driving; or whether a person refused to take, complete or cooperate in the completing of a blood or breath test as required by Colorado’s Express Consent Law.
If your blood or breath test result was .08 or greater or if you refused or were deemed to have refused testing, you must request a hearing within seven days of your arrest in order to preserve the right to a hearing and fight for your privilege to drive. If you took a blood test, you must ensure that the DMV has your correct mailing address as you are waiting on a letter from them called an “Order of Revocation.” It does not matter if you gave the police officer you correct address; you must also officially update your address with the DMV through a change of address form.
Upon receipt of the “Order of Revocation” you have ten days from the postmarked date of the letter to surrender your license and request a hearing. If you fail to surrender your license, the DMV will not grant you a temporary 60-day driving permit. If you fail to request a hearing within the proper time frame your driving privileges will automatically be revoked.
When you request your Express Consent hearing, the DMV will ask you if you want the police officer to be present at your hearing. You should consult with an experienced Colorado DUI attorney before making this decision or requesting your hearing. Upon requesting your hearing the DMV will send you a final letter called a “Notice of Hearing.” This letter will inform you of the time, date and location of your Express Consent hearing. You should provide a copy of this letter to your Colorado DUI attorney immediately.
Express Consent hearings are determined on a preponderance or civil standard, which means was it more likely than not:
- You were in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in the state of Colorado;
- The officer had reasonable suspicion to contact you;
- The officer observed indicia of impairment and had probable cause to require you to take a chemical test;
- That chemical test was completed within substantial compliance of the CDPHE rules and regulations and that test was failed, or the test was refused.
These hearings are presided over by a hearing officer that works for the DMV and will make the determination based on the facts presented at the hearing. Point Suspension Hearings (PSH)
Hearings on whether or not a person's license should be suspended for points are also fairly common. If you get too many points against your driving record within a certain period of time, your driving privileges can and will be suspended for points. Points accumulate against your driving record when you are convicted of a traffic violation by paying a ticket, pleading guilty to a charge, being convicted at trial or, in some cases, failing to appear in court. An experienced criminal traffic attorney can help show the DMV its records are wrong, if applicable, and also argue to minimize the impact a suspension will have on you. In the event your license is suspended at the hearing, an experienced Criminal Traffic lawyer can also help maximize your chance for a probationary driver’s license (PDL). Provisionary Driver’s License (PDL) Hearings
A probationary driver's license is a license to drive, for limited purposes, usually driving to and from the place of employment or to perform duties in the course of employment, during the term of a license suspension.
A driving privilege for commercial vehicles is not granted. PDL hearings and probationary licenses are no longer available for alcohol offenses or per se violations.
As a result, probationary driver’s license hearings are usually only granted due to point suspensions or child support suspensions. If you are granted a probationary license and are stopped by a law enforcement officer, and you are outside of your restrictions, the officer will confiscate the license for violating the terms of the license. By law a probationary license can also be taken away from someone if they get any ticket while on the probationary license. Once the license is confiscated, or you receive a ticket, the probationary driver's license will be cancelled and you will not be able to drive for the duration of your suspension.