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DUS Explained: Driving Under Suspension (2024 Guide)

In Colorado, a “DUS charge” typically refers to “Driving Under Suspension” or “Driving Under Suspended License.” It occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle while their driver’s license has been suspended or revoked by the relevant licensing authority.
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“DUS Charge” Explained

There are specific circumstances under Colorado law that result in license suspension:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or with an illegal blood alcohol content.
  • Accumulating more than the maximum allowable DMV points from various traffic offenses.
  • Having an outstanding judgment against the driver, such as for failure to pay child support, which may not be related to traffic violations.

According to SCLG, Colorado motorists face a DUS charge (CRS 42-2-138) for driving with a suspended license. DUS is short for driving under suspension. (Another term for DUS is DUR, short for driving under restraint.) DUS is a crime whether the defendant’s suspended license is from Colorado or another state [1].

Reasons for a Driver’s License Suspension in Colorado

According to DriveSafely, losing your driver’s license can occur due to various reasons [2].

Driving without insurance is illegal, and will definitely get your license suspended it is taken very seriously, and is seen as a major indicator that you are unfit to continue driving. Over the long run, fine-related issues, such as failing to pay a traffic ticket or child support, will result in the same predicament – DriveSafely

Accumulating too many points on your driving record is a common cause of license suspension, primarily because many people overlook keeping track of their points and are unaware of the point values assigned to each infraction.

The allowable number of points varies based on age and the specified timeframe:

For drivers aged 21 and over:

  • 12 points within 12 months
  • 18 points within 24 months

For drivers aged 18 to 20:

  • 9 points within a 12-month period
  • 12 points within a 24-month period
  • Accumulating 14 or more points between ages 18 and 21

For drivers under 18:

  • 6 points every 12 months
  • A total of 7 points before turning 18

Different violations carry varying point values. For instance:

  • Speeding (5 mph over the speed limit): 1 point
  • Speeding (20-39 mph over the speed limit): 6 points
  • Improperly passing another vehicle: 4 points
  • Driving without headlights at night: 2 points
  • Refusing a DUI test during a traffic stop: 12 points (leading to instant suspension)
  • Testing over the legal alcohol limit: 12 points (leading to instant suspension)
  • Leaving the scene of an accident: 12 points (leading to instant suspension)

What’s the Difference Between a DUI and a DUS?

DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while compromised by intoxicating substances and/or with a BAC above the legal limit, whereas DUS/DUR stands for Driving Under Suspension or Driving Under Revocation. You can be arrested if you drive without a valid license in Colorado.

Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License in Colorado

When stopped for driving with a suspended license in Colorado, individuals receive a citation regardless of their compliance with traffic rules.

It’s essential to note that violations of CRS § 42-2-138 can apply irrespective of whether the suspended license is from Colorado or another state.

The Colorado DMV, officially known as the Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles, acknowledges:

  • License suspensions,
  • Revocations, and
  • Cancellations of non-residents.

Legally, driving with a suspended license falls under the terms “driving under suspension (DUS)” or “driving under restraint (DUR).”

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