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CRS 42-2-140 makes it a Class B traffic infraction in Colorado to permit an unauthorized person to drive a motor vehicle. An unauthorized person is one who does not have a currently valid driver’s license or instruction permit. The offense is punishable by a fine of up to $100.00.
CRS 42-2-140 states that “(1) No person shall authorize or knowingly permit a motor vehicle owned by such person or under such person’s hire or control to be driven upon any highway by any person who has not been issued a currently valid driver’s or minor driver’s license or an instruction permit or shall cause or knowingly permit such person to drive a motor vehicle upon any highway in violation of the conditions, limitations, or restrictions contained in a license or permit which has been issued to such other person.”
1. What does it mean to permit an unauthorized person to drive?
Under CRS 42-2-140, no person shall authorize or knowingly permit a motor vehicle to be driven by any person who has not been issued a currently valid driver’s license. Permitting an unauthorized individual to drive is a class B traffic infraction and may result in a fine.
An unauthorized driver includes any person without a currently valid driver’s license, minor driver’s license, or instruction permit. An unauthorized driver does not refer to a driver who took a vehicle without the owner’s permission, which may be a separate crime of motor vehicle theft. Neither does “unauthorized driver” refer to an individual’s legal status. Colorado has issued driver’s licenses to immigrant residents since 2014.
Permitting an unauthorized driver to drive carries a fine of $15 to $100.
2. What are the penalties for a CRS 42-2-140 violation?
The penalties for allowing an unauthorized driver to operate your vehicle include a fine ranging from $15 to $100, and a surcharge fee. It does not add points to your driving record. However, if you fail to pay the traffic infraction fine, you may not be able to renew your driver’s license until you pay all fines and costs.
3. What are the penalties being an unauthorized driver?
Driving without a valid license can be a much more serious offense for the driver than the owner. The owner who permitted the driver to get behind the wheel may be issued a ticket; however, the driver may face criminal charges. If the driver has a license but it is not in their possession, or if their license has expired within the past year, driving without a license is a class B traffic infraction, the same as for the vehicle owner. 1
If the driver has a restricted license, they may be facing criminal charges for operating a motor vehicle. Under C.R.S. 42-2-138, any person who drives with their license under restraint for a reason other than a DUI conviction is guilty of a misdemeanor.3 This includes a suspended or revoked license for failure to pay traffic tickets, excessive points on your driving record, or failure to pay child support. Penalties may include up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $500. A second or subsequent conviction may result in the individual losing their eligibility for a driver’s license for three years.
If the driver has a revoked driver’s license because of a DUI, DWAI, or underage drunk driving, they may be charged with a misdemeanor criminal offense. Penalties include a minimum of 30 days in jail, up to a maximum of one year, and a fine of up to $1,000. A second or subsequent conviction is punished by 90 days up to 2 years in prison, and a fine of up to $3,000.4
4. Related Offenses
Permitting an unauthorized person to drive is similar to the offense of permitting an unauthorized minor to drive a car. Driving without your license may result in a similar traffic infraction. In some cases, a driver allows an unauthorized driver to operate their vehicle because they are too intoxicated to drive. However, if an impaired driver does decide to get behind the wheel, they may be facing a DUI arrest.
4.1, C.R.S. 42-2-139 Permitting an Unauthorized Minor to Drive
Permitting a minor (under the age of 18) to drive is a class B infraction in Colorado under CRS 42-2-139. The penalties are similar to permitting an unauthorized person to drive, including a fine of up to $100.
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If you were ticketed for permitting an unauthorized person to drive or other traffic violation, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our caring Colorado defense attorneys have many years of experience representing clients who have been charged with motor vehicle violations and criminal offenses. We are among the best Colorado criminal defense attorneys to call. Contact us today for a free consultation by phone or in-person or in our Denver law office.