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What does it mean to be a “habitual traffic offender” in CO?

Have police cited you for several traffic-related offenses over the last few years. If so, you may at risk of being branded a “habitual traffic offender” — a label that carries serious consequences under Colorado law.

In fact, if you are a habitual traffic offender and are caught driving while your license is revoked — an offense commonly referred to as “driving after revocation prohibited” (DARP) — you may face several harsh penalties, including:

  • Mandatory jail sentence of at least 30 days, and up to 18 months
  • Steep fine ranging from $3,000 to $5,000
  • Extension of your driver’s license revocation

So what does it take to be a “habitual traffic offender?”

Under Colorado law, there are three primary ways in which you may be labeled as a habitual traffic offender:

  1. Within a seven-year period, you accumulate three or more convictions of any of the following offenses:
    • DUI
    • DUI per se
    • DWAI
    • Reckless driving
    • Driving with a suspended/revoked license
    • Vehicular assault
    • Vehicular homicide
    • Vehicular manslaughter
    • Criminally negligent homicide involving a motor vehicle
    • Aggravated motor vehicle theft
    • Providing false/fraudulent information to the DMV
    • Hit-and-run accident involving injury or death
  2. Within a five-year period, you accumulate ten or more convictions for offenses/moving violations involving an assessment of four or more points each
  3. Within a five-year period, you accumulate 18 or more convictions for offenses/moving violations involving an assessment of three or fewer points each

But wait, it gets even more serious

In addition, if you are caught driving with a revoked license as a habitual offender, and, as part of the same incident, you allegedly commit another serious traffic offense — such as reckless driving or eluding police — you may face charges of “aggravated driving with a revoked license.”

As you can imagine, the penalties for this offense are even more severe, which is just another reason that drivers need to take it seriously if they are ever labeled a habitual traffic offender.

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