The Colorado DMV Conundrum

In a DUI case, you may be surprised to learn that your driver’s license can be taken away even if you are found not guilty in court. This is because under Colorado DUI law, the Department of Revenue—Division of Motor Vehicles initiates an action against your driving privilege if it finds out you were arrested for DUI.

For a person 21 and over, a blood alcohol content of .08 or more or a refusal will trigger an administrative hearing at the Colorado DMV. Most hearings for Denver DUI cases occur at The main hearing office located at 1881 Pierce Street in Lakewood; however, there are many hearing offices across the state. Some DUI hearings occur by phone depending on the location of the police department.

The participants at the DMV hearing are the hearing officer, your DUI attorney, and police officers. Other witnesses may participate for different circumstances. The legal burden of proof in this administrative case is the same for civil law—by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a much lesser standard than you would receive with your DUI case in criminal court. Essentially, “preponderance of the evidence” means “more likely than not.” This is a far lower burden than is needed in court to convict you of driving under the influence in court—proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

At the DMV hearing, police officers will testify, evidence will be submitted, and the hearing officer will make findings as to the following elements that must be proven in order to revoke your driver’s license:

  1. Whether the officer had a legal reason to stop or otherwise contact you;
  2. Whether the officer had probable cause to believe you were impaired by alcohol or drugs;
  3. Whether you were properly advised of Colorado’s Express Consent Law;
  4. Whether you provided a valid breath or blood test of at least 0.08 within two hours of driving or refused to take the breath or blood test.

If the above elements are established, your driver’s license will be revoked.

Most drivers who have never had a DUI or other alcohol-related offense are highly concerned about their driver’s license. A Colorado DUI attorney can assist you challenge the DMV hearing as well as look out for your best interests in court.

About the author: Jay Tiftickjian is a Denver DUI attorney and President of Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C. He has been published in many legal texts on DUI defense and drug crimes, and has provided legal commentary for news media such as The Denver Post and 9News Colorado. Tiftickjian Law Firm has its main office in Denver but also handles Aspen DUI cases out of its satellite office in Pitkin County.

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