Many people are surprised to learn that a DUI arrest will generate two separate legal proceedings against them: the criminal case and administrative license revocation hearing. You will be arrested for DUI or DWAI in Colorado if you are suspected of driving with a BAC above .05. However, if your BAC is confirmed through chemical testing to be .08 or above, or if you refused to submit to a breath or blood test, you will be subject to a license revocation through a civil administration hearing conducted by DMV.
If you have been arrested for a DUI with a BAC at or above .08, or you refused a chemical test (blood or breath), you then have only 7 days from the date you were arrested to schedule a hearing with the DMV to contest your revocation. If you do not request your DMV hearing within 7 days, your license will automatically be revoked for at least 9 months (if you took a blood or breath test), or one full year if you refused to take any test. And you will also lose your right to challenge or appeal this allegation and revocation.
What to Expect at the Hearing
The DMV hearing is held to determine if your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked. At the hearing, the police officer will present his own evidence, as well as testify about his observations that led him or her to place you under arrest for DUI. Your attorney will have a chance to cross-examine the officer, as well as present your own evidence and testimony. If your attorney has the proper background and training, he can also challenge the complex scientific evidence such as a BAC test result. Your attorney can also motion to suppress evidence if he feels the police violated your constitutional rights in any way.
At the conclusion of your hearing, the hearing officer will either rule to revoke your license or give your license back to you. If you lose at the hearing, your license will be revoked for 9 (nine) months for a first "per se" offense (if you agreed to a BAC test and the government can show that the test was reliable and came back at or above .08). If it’s your second per se DUI, or you refused to submit to a chemical test your license will be revoked for one year with no chance for a restricted driver's license. For these reasons, it is critical that you hire an experienced DUI attorney immediately.