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2024 Driving Under Restraint (DUR): Definition & Statistics

In Colorado, “Driving under restraint” refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while one’s driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or otherwise restricted by law. It is considered a violation of traffic laws and can result in legal consequences such as fines, license suspension or revocation, and in some cases, imprisonment.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Driving Under Restraint Definition

When stopped by law enforcement for driving with a suspended or revoked license, commonly known as Driving Under Restraint (DUR) or Driving After Revocation Prohibited (DARP), you risk severe consequences, including potential imprisonment.

Although Colorado has eliminated mandatory jail sentences for certain first-time DUR offenders, judges often opt for incarceration, particularly for repeat offenders caught driving without a valid license. It’s crucial to understand the gravity of these charges and seek appropriate legal counsel to mitigate the potential penalties.

The legal interpretation of “driving under restraint”, or simply “DUR,” by lawyers entails the following:

(1) (a) Any person who drives a motor vehicle or off-highway vehicle upon any highway of this state with knowledge that the person’s license or privilege to drive, either as a resident or a nonresident of Colorado, is under restraint for any reason other than conviction of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, or UDD is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Upon conviction of this misdemeanor, the court holds the authority to sentence the individual to a maximum imprisonment period of six months in the county jail and levy a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.

(b) In case of a second or subsequent conviction under paragraph (a) within five years of the initial conviction, the defendant becomes ineligible for the issuance of a driver’s or minor driver’s license, or extension of any driving privilege for a duration of three years following such subsequent conviction.

Also Read: “DUS Charge” Explained

What Happens if I Get Caught Driving on a Suspended License in Colorado?

According to SCLG, in Colorado, driving with a suspended license typically constitutes a class A traffic infraction, resulting in fines ranging from $15 to $100, without the threat of incarceration [1]. However, if your license suspension stems from a DUI, the offense escalates to a class 2 misdemeanor traffic violation, carrying potential jail time of 10 to 90 days and fines ranging from $150 to $300.

Individuals stopped for driving on a suspended license in Colorado receive a citation, irrespective of their adherence to traffic rules or safety precautions.

Note that people can still get charged with violating CRS § 42-2-138 whether they drive with a suspended Colorado driver’s license or a suspended license from another state. The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) acknowledges license suspensions, revocations, and cancellations for non-residents – SCLG

Legally, driving with a suspended license falls under the terms “driving under suspension (DUS)” or “driving under restraint (DUR).” Understanding these legal nuances is crucial to navigating the legal consequences effectively.

How Can I Fight Driving Under Restraint Charges?

Three effective defenses for resolving Driving Under Restraint (DUR) cases and potentially getting them completely dismissed include:

  1. Lack of notification from the state: If the Colorado Department of Revenue (DMV) fails to formally notify you about the restraint on your license, you have grounds for dismissal. Sometimes, due to the bureaucratic nature of government agencies, notifications regarding license suspensions or revocations may not be sent out as intended. Without official notification from the DMV, charges of DUR cannot be held.
  2. Lack of knowledge about license restraint: Even if the DMV did send out a notification, if you can prove that you never received it, perhaps due to postal issues, you can argue that you reasonably did not know about the restraint on your license. Without “actual knowledge of any restraint” on your license, driving cannot be considered a criminal offense.
  3. “The DMV made a clerical error: Occasionally state workers make mistakes or there are computer glitches that wrongly cause the DMV to restrain your license. If there was no legitimate reason for your license to be revoked, suspended or denied, then you can continue driving legally.”

National Drunk Driving Statistics

  • In 2020, alcohol-impaired drivers were responsible for 11,654 fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, constituting 30% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. This marked a significant 14.3% increase compared to 2019.
  • On average, 32 individuals lost their lives daily due to crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers, equating to one fatality every 45 minutes.
  • The economic toll of these tragedies is substantial, with an estimated cost of approximately $123.3 billion in 2020 alone. These expenses encompass medical costs and estimates of the value of lives lost.
  • While alcohol-impaired driving remains a major concern, drug-impaired driving also poses significant public health risks. However, due to data limitations, less is understood about the precise impact of drug-impaired driving compared to its alcohol-related counterpart.
  • Addressing both forms of impairment is crucial for enhancing road safety and saving lives.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [2].

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References:

1. https://www.shouselaw.com/co/defense/laws/driving-on-a-suspended-license/
2. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html

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