What is a Colorado “Persistent Drunk Driver”?

Consequences of a Colorado "persistent drunk driver" designation

If you drive in Colorado with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or are a repeat drunk driving offender, the Colorado DMV will designate you a persistent drunk driver ("PDD") and take away your right to drive.

Before your driving privilege will be restored, you will need to:

  • complete a level II alcohol and drug education and treatment program,1
  • install an interlock ignition device on your vehicle, which you must maintain for at least two years2, and 
  • provide proof of financial responsibility (so-called “SR-22 insurance coverage”) for at least two years.3

What is a Colorado persistent drunk driver?

The Colorado DMV will label you a “persistent drunk driver” if:

  • You have been convicted of two or more alcohol-related driving violations,
  • You have had a driver's license revoked for two or more alcohol-related driving violations,
  • You drive after your license has been suspended or revoked due to an alcohol-related driving offense,
  • You drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% or more (even if it is your first offense), or
  • You refuse to take or complete a DUI chemical test following an arrest for DUI, DWAI or UDD.4

Note that the .15% PDD designation is effective as of January 1, 2014. Before 2014, the BAC required for a PDD designation was .17%.

Defenses to a Colorado PDD designation

You have the right to challenge a PDD designation at a Colorado DMV license hearing. But you must request the hearing within 7 days of your drunk driving arrest.

The main defenses to a persistent drunk driver designation involve challenging the underlying drunk driving violation. Common defenses include (but are not limited to):

  • The officer had no probable cause to pull you over,
  • Your arrest wasn't lawful, 
  • The officer failed to advise you of the consequences of a chemical test refusal, or 
  • There were errors in your DUI blood test or DUI breath test.

Additionally, if you took a DUI blood test, you can have your blood sample independently tested. If the test results are inconsistent, a court can overturn the DMV designation.

Call us for help… 

Do you want to fight your Colorado persistent drunk driving designation? Our Colorado DUI defense attorneys have decades of experience challenging DMV license revocations and drunk driving arrests.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for drunk driving in Colorado, there is no time to lose. You have 7 days in which to request a Colorado DMV hearing to protect your driving privilege. We can also help you fight your drunk driving case or appeal the designation in court.

Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about Colorado persistent drunk drivers. We serve clients accused of DUI, DWAI, UDD and other driving offenses throughout the state of Colorado.

In Denver, our office is conveniently located at:

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

Legal references:

  1. 42-2-126, C.R.S.
  2. 42-2-132.5(1)(a)(II), C.R.S.
  3. 42-7-406, C.R.S.
  4. 42-1-102(68.5), C.R.S.

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