CRS 42-2-138 - Colorado "Driving Under Restraint" (DUR) Laws

Crime of “driving under restraint” (DUR) in Colorado

Top Denver criminal defense attorney discusses “driving under restraint” laws in Colorado. Learn more about Colorado Legal Defense Group at or call (303) 222-0330 for a free consultation. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR DRIVING UNDER RESTRAINT IN COLORADO? Known as “driving under restraint,” it is unlawful to drive on a suspended or revoked license in Colorado under 42-2-138. If you drive on a Colorado highway while your license is under restraint for a conviction of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, UDD, or a chemical test refusal, you commit a misdemeanor and face penalties of: -for a first offense, 30 days mandatory minimum and up to 1 year in county jail, and a fine of $500 – $1,000 (at the discretion of the court) -for a second or subsequent conviction, 90 days mandatory minimum to 2 years in jail, and a fine of $500 – $3,000 (at the judge’s discretion) The court shall not grant probation or a suspended sentence. But if you had to drive because of an emergency, the mandatory jail sentence shall not apply in the discretion of the court. If you are a habitual offender, the penalties increase to a minimum of 6 months in jail and/or a $500 fine and a maximum of 18 months in prison and/or a $500 fine. The court may suspend all or a portion of the mandatory jail sentence or fine if the defendant successfully completes no less than 40 hours and no greater than 300 hours of useful public service. COLORADO LEGAL DEFENSE GROUP If you or a loved one is charged with a crime we invite you to contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We serve Denver, Lakewood, Littleton, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Pueblo, Boulder, Broomfield, Grand Junction, Eagle, Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail and throughout Colorado. Colorado Legal Defense Group 4047 Tejon Street Denver CO 80211 (303) 222-0330

Driving in Colorado Under a Suspended or Revoked License

42-2-138 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) makes it a misdemeanor to drive after your license has been denied, revoked or suspended in any state. This crime is referred to as Colorado "driving under restraint" -- or "DUR" for short.

Penalties for driving under restraint in Colorado can include jail time and a fine of up to $500—more if your license was restrained because of drugs or alcohol.

To help you understand more about Colorado's law against driving under restraint, our top Colorado DUI defense lawyers discuss the following, below:

1. What is Colorado driving under restraint?

You drive under restraint (DUR) in Colorado when your license has been denied, suspended or revoked for any reason in any state. The law applies to resident and nonresidents alike.

2. What are the penalties for driving under restraint?

2.1. Restraint due to alcohol and/or drugs

Penalties for Colorado driving under restraint are more serious if your license was revoked or suspended because of DUI, DUI per se, DWAI or UDD.

Consequences of a driving in Colorado while your license is under restraint due to an alcohol- or drug-related offense can include:

First offense

  • Up to one year in jail (with at least 30 days mandatory), and
  • A discretionary fine of $500-$1,000.1 

In addition, your license suspension, revocation or ineligibility will be extended by one year. Failing to surrender your license is a class 2 traffic misdemeanor.

Second or subsequent offense

  • Up to two years in jail (with at least 60 days mandatory), and
  • A discretionary fine of $500-$3,000.2

In addition, a second or subsequent conviction within five years makes you ineligible for a Colorado driver's license for a period of four years following such second or subsequent conviction.3

2.2. Exception for emergencies

If you can prove that you drove on a revoked or suspended license only because it was an emergency, the court is not obligated to impose mandatory jail time.4 However, the court may still jail you and/or fine you, in its discretion.

2.3. Restraint not due to drunk or drugged driving

Consequences of driving in Colorado while your license is suspended or revoked for reasons entirely unrelated to alcohol and/or drugs can include:

  • Up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $500.

In addition, if you incur a second or subsequent such driving under restraint conviction within five years, you are ineligible for a Colorado driver's license for a period of three years.5

3. How do I fight a charge of driving under restraint?

If you drive in Colorado after your license has been revoked or suspended, there are very few legal defenses available. However, the best Colorado DUI lawyers know it depends on your specific situation.

Defenses we may be able to argue on your behalf include (but are not limited to):

  • You never received notice that your license was revoked or suspended.
  • You reasonably didn't know your license was under restraint.
  • There was a clerical error and your license was not under restraint.
  • You only drove because of an emergency.

And even if you did drive under restraint, we can argue in favor of leniency by convincing the judge that putting you in jail is not in your or the state's best interest.

Call us for help…

If you have been arrested in Colorado for driving with a suspended or revoked license, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. Don't let a mistake keep you from enjoying the freedom to drive. Call us and find out why our caring criminal defense attorneys are considered among the best DUI lawyers in Colorado.

We are a statewide firm with home offices in Denver at:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
4047 Tejon Street
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 222-0330

Arrested in California? See our article on driving on a suspended license (14601 VC).

Arrested in Nevada? See our article on Nevada laws for driving on a suspended or revoked license (NRS 483.560).

Legal references:

  1. 42-2-138(d)(I), C.R.S.
  2. Same.
  3. 42-2-138(b), C.R.S.
  4. 42-2-138 (d)(I), C.R.S.
  5. 42-2-138(b), C.R.S.

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