78 Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Colorado
By: Christopher H. Cessna, Attorney at Law. Serving Denver, Boulder, Arapahoe
County, and Jefferson County.
© 2009 Christopher H. Cessna
1. DUI Convictions in Colorado are forever – there is no expungement
or sealing of your arrest record unless you get your charges dismissed
across the board. In Colorado, you take a DUI conviction to the grave.
2. Court ordered probation - up to 24 months.
3. Jail – up to 12 months.
4. Fine – up to $1,500.00, plus court costs and surcharges which
can add an additional $750.
5. Court ordered Useful Public Service of up to 120 hours.
6. Victim Impact Program attendance – put on by MADD (Mothers Against
7. Mandatory alcohol evaluation and any recommended weekly alcohol therapy
classes. This term of probation can last up to one year and cost in excess
8. The Department of Revenue will revoke your driver’s license for
12 months on a “points revocation” action.
9. Creates a prior offense to be used for future sentencing offenses.
Colorado has “mandatory minimum” sentencing for any second
or subsequent offenses. Any prior conviction can also lead to revocation
of your driver’s license for at least one year.
10. DUI is the only motor vehicle offense that shows up on NCIC database
(National Crime Information Center). This is kept nationally by the FBI,
and locally by CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation), and is provided
to employers and potential employers during routine background checks.
Driver’s License Consequences
11. License suspension and mandatory license revocation (length varies,
depending on prior DUI convictions and dates of those convictions).
12. SR-22 (assigned risk insurance, at higher rates) for 3 years to maintain
driving privileges once they are reinstated.
13. Ignition Interlock device can be required for up to two years on any
personal or work vehicle you drive. The cost to install and rent is approximately
$50 per month.
14. Commercial driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year (first
offender) or (for any second lifetime DUI conviction or ALS action) CDL
license is revoked for life.
15. If caught driving on a suspended/revoked license, car is impounded
and you will face new criminal case with minimum mandatory jail of at
least 30 days if convicted.
16. If driving on “Provisional Driver’s License” outside
of approved hours and locations, your permit will be revoked and you will
be charged with a new misdemeanor offense requiring mandatory jail time.
17. Increased auto insurance costs of approximately $4,800.00. Also a
possible increase in life, and possibly health insurance (see Denver Post
18. SR-22 (assigned risk) required for 3 years.
19. Life Insurance companies will typically deny policy issuance or raise
rates (you won’t qualify for best “preferred risk” rates).
20. Health Insurance (individual policy) rates can be increased or policy denied.
21. If you lose all driving privileges, car may remain uninsured for over
6 months. This will boost your rates upon reinstatement.
22. Travel and Immigration Consequences
23. Major rental car companies will not rent to anyone with a DUI conviction
(length of time varied from 3 – 6 years).
24. Total denial of ability to immigrate to some countries (e.g. Canada).
25. Business or personal trips to some foreign countries, such as Canada,
blocked or extremely difficult to obtain.
26. Denial of naturalization (not allowed to become U.S. citizen) for
5 years after DUI case is closed out.
27. “Green” card renewal or work visa renewal can be denied
28. Travel from U.S.A. and back to U.S.A. can be delayed at customs, or
even prohibited altogether.
29. Restriction on being able to ship a hunting rifle to some countries
for sporting or recreational purposes, if DUI conviction on record.
30. Second lifetime DUI triggers provisions of “The Interstate Compact”
http://www.interstatecompact.org/, sections 2.105 and the dozen or so subsequent provisions – you
may not be allowed to move to new state while on probation.
31. Automotive franchisees have a “morals” clause in their
agreements with manufacturers, so DUI may cause loss of multi-million
dollar contract for dealership.
32. If licensed as a broker under federal or state securities laws, can
lose ability to be a broker (series 7, series 63).
33. Job applications – must always check the box “yes”
when asked about convictions.
34. Professional license applications – any of the licensed professions”
can withhold or delay licensure or initiate revocation proceedings (e.g.,
State Bar, Medical Board).
35. Employee manual from job may require disclosure to Human Resources
Department. Then company official decides on termination.
36. Loss of company vehicle with associated loss of the financial savings
from not having to own or maintain another vehicle.
37. Loss of company insurance for company-issued vehicle.
38. When car rental companies perform a license check, the computer will
show a DUI. Rental Company denies access to vehicles, so cannot perform
39. Commercial driver’s license may be lost (which can lead to loss
40. Concealed weapons permits may be denied.
41. Some industries/employers will terminate immediately upon conviction,
(e.g. any pharmaceutical sales company, State Farm Insurance employee,
companies with a preferred “group” rate with major insurance
that is conditioned on having “No Employees” with a DUI conviction).
42. Security clearance may be denied or revoked at military bases or similar
businesses that “contract” with the U.S. Government on high
security clearance (e.g. nuclear power plants).
43. Military superior officers may sanction any service member by denying
privileges on the base, and impose other restrictions on duties.
44. Military career may be over or future advancement denied, based on
45. Personnel in military who are about to be deployed to combat duty
can be pulled out of deployment and may be discharged from military service,
possibly by general discharge or even dishonorable discharge.
46. Denial of admission to many professional schools, (e.g. law school,
medical school, nursing, physical therapy certification).
47. Pilot’s license can be revoked or withheld for any DMV driver’s
license suspension or DUI conviction. Failure to make timely report to
FAA can revoke pilot’s license.
48. Teacher can lose job, in certain schools and counties, both private
49. All branches of military will delay your enlistment until all probation
is terminated, so delay can affect plans.
50. Doctors or dentists can be suspended from practice until “rehabilitated”
for alcohol dependency or drug dependency. DEA permit to dispense medications
can be withdrawn permanently or for period of time, to be later reconsidered.
51. Union contracts often call for and require reporting of any DUI convictions.
Failure to report can cause loss of union membership.
52. CPA’s with larger firms are required to report a DUI conviction
under the full financial disclosure rules of the federal Sarbarnes-Oxley Act.
53. College sports athlete can lose scholarship is repeated alcohol-related offenses.
54. Pro athlete with repeated DUI offenses can be banned from league until
and unless rehabilitated.
55. Criminal restitution or civil judgment, including punitive damages,
if accident related to DUI.
56. Alcohol and drug dependency screening may indicate that treatment
is needed, and cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to complete.
57. Interest rates for loans, including home loans, may be higher or with
high-risk loan company.
58. Inability to rent an apartment in desirable areas because tenant considered
“higher risk.”Credit score can be negatively affected by a
DUI conviction being reported.
59. Cannot buy new car without full, plastic license in your possession
(Homeland Security Act).
60. Restitution – You can be court-ordered to repay DUI –
accident related property damages or medical bills to an injured third
party as part of probation.
61. Supervised probation fees typically run $50 per month.
Unrelated Legal Consequences
62. Child custody (where divorce pending or already in place) where other
spouse uses DUI as “leverage” to obtain or change.
63. Concealed weapons permit may be denied or not renewed.
64. Accident caused by DUI where others are injured or killed, can lead
to the personal injury claim becoming non-dischargeable in federal bankruptcy courts.
This means that your wages can be garnished indefinitely until full debt
is paid in full. See 11 U.S.C.A. § 523 (a)(9).
65. If felony DUI conviction (i.e.,
vehicular assault or homicide), cannot possess any firearms or ammunition. 18 U.S.C.A. § 922.
66. A college or university may sanction you - separate from DMV and criminal
cases for using alcohol illegally (either DUI or possession of alcohol)
any time offense occurs on campus property. Some colleges go beyond this
to include any reported arrest or conviction. Typical sanction is suspension
for a semester or quarter, plus possible alcohol or drug treatment classes.
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67. Can’t rent a car for work or travel; and must pay for cabs or
other transit options out of pocket. Expense account will not cover anything
but the “contract” rental car vehicle.
68. Pilot’s license revoked or restricted for a period of time.
69. Letter writing campaign directed at you from MADD or other “critics”
of DUI offenders.
70. Internet access of your criminal arrest record is accessible from
71. Court records available online (e.g., Google search) so you can be
72. Police blotters in weekly neighborhood newspapers can start neighbors
73. Having to use a U.S. Passport to cash a check (instead of driver’s
license) can create stigma with grocer or other regular service providers.
74. Can be “turned away” from airport at “port of entry”
in foreign country (i.e., Toronto) due to DUI showing on record.
75. If you apply your religious organization for a volunteer position
(e.g., Sunday school teacher) expect to sign release forms for a background
check. Some churches will reject any person with a DUI.
76. Traveling through airports, where some form of official (state-issued
or federal-issued) identification is needed. A passport can take two months
to obtain, especially if you do not have your driver’s license as
part of your proof of identity in seeking the passport. The immediate
confiscation of driver’s licenses creates a “problem”
getting through security, at least in the short term.
77. If called for jury duty, one common question asked of the panel is
about “prior criminal convictions, including DUI.”
78. For a “refusal”, if you lose DMV hearing this will result
in a 12 month revocation, meaning no limited or “provisional driver’s
license,” no “hardship” license, simply no driving at
all for one full year. However, “winning” your case (by dismissal,
reduction of charges or acquittal) will reinstate your driving privileges
and Colorado driver’s license.