Colorado "Careless Driving" Laws
(Colorado 42-4-1402 C.R.S.)

Colorado careless driving is a misdemeanor crime

You commit a class 1 traffic misdemeanor in Colorado when:

  • you drive a motor vehicle, bicycle, electrically assisted bicycle, or low-power scooter,
  • in a careless and imprudent manner,
  • without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances.1

Careless driving is a slightly less serious crime than Colorado reckless driving.

Our caring Colorado DUI defense lawyers understand how easy it is for the cops to charge you with careless driving when you were driving safely -- or all you deserved was a traffic ticket. But we know how to fight overzealous charges.

Penalties for careless driving in Colorado

If no one was injured by your driving, penalties for careless driving can include:

  • A fine of $150-$300, and/or 
  • 10 days-90 days in county jail.2

If your driving is the proximate cause of injury or death to another person, however, careless driving becomes a Colorado class 1 traffic misdemeanor. Penalties for careless driving resulting in injury or death can include:

  • A fine of $300-$1,000 and/or
  • 10 days-one year in county jail.3

In addition to a fine and/or jail time, potential consequences of a Colorado careless driving conviction can include:

  • 4 points added to your Colorado DMV driving record (unless you were driving a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle),
  • payment of restitution to the alleged victim, and
  • court-mandated community service.

Defenses to Colorado careless driving

Defenses to Colorado careless driving, 42-4-1402, C.R.S. can vary widely, depending on the circumstances. Some of the more common defenses include (but are not limited to):

  • You weren't the driver.
  • You weren't driving unsafely.
  • You were distracted, not careless.
  • Injuries to the alleged victim weren't caused by your driving.
  • There was police misconduct.

Call us for help...

Were you arrested and charged with careless driving or other traffic misdemeanors in Colorado? Our compassionate and proactive Colorado DUI lawyers may be able to help.

The fastest way to reach us is by using the form on this page. Or call us at our centrally located Denver home office:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
1400 16th Street ste. 400
16 Market Square
Denver CO 80202

Legal references:

  1. 42-4-1402 (1), C.R.S.
  2. See also 42-4-1701(3)(a)(II)(A), C.R.S.
  3. Same.


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