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
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
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
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor