Colorado OKs mandatory jail time for violating out-of-service orders

| 5/10/2006

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens recently signed a bill into law that increases the penalty for violating an out-of-service order.

Drivers convicted of violating an out-of-service order will face a mandatory court appearance and mandatory license suspension. The new law also includes mandatory fines of $100 to $1,000 and mandatory jail time of 10 days to 12 months. Plea bargaining and deferred sentencing are prohibited.

License suspensions will range in length depending on the driver’s number of convictions, but will automatically be set at the maximum. A driver can request an administrative hearing to have the length of suspension reduced.

First-time offenders will have their license suspended for 90 days to one year. The same violation within 10 years of the original violation will result in a suspension for one to five years. A third conviction within 10 years will result in a three- to five-year suspension.

Hazardous materials haulers or drivers with endorsements to transport more than 16 passengers would face suspensions that are double the regular amount.

The new law, previously HB1118, also changes the periods of revocation for alcohol-related offenses by commercial drivers to match federal regulations. Those periods of revocation range from one year to a lifetime ban.

In addition, it clarifies that an “out-of-service order” includes an order issued under federal, state, local, law, or under Canadian or Mexican law.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor