Question: I received a traffic ticket for drinking and driving. Can I get a restricted or "Red-Tag" license?

James M. Edwards, P.C.
1401 17th Street, Suite 330
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 293-8191
FAX (303) 292-0924

A-- The answer is yes, under certain conditions and after serving a partial period of revocation. If your blood alcohol content is over .08, then, assuming your were properly stopped and all of the testing was properly conducted, your license is gone for NINE months, no ifs ands or buts.

However, there is a provision in the law for a restricted or probationary license. Colorado law provides for a restricted license under certain conditions.  At your license revocation hearing you may request the restricted license. Even if you do not request it at the hearing you can apply for “early reinstatement”. First, you must “serve” 30 days of no driving. While you are serving that 30 day period you should apply for “early reinstatement” because it is taking the DMV about 30 days to process the requests. 

The procedure involves having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle (I have been told that the device can be installed on a motorcycle or a scooter too).  You must also obtain proof of insurance and enrollment in an state certified alcohol education course. There is also a $95.00 reinstatement fee.  As stated above, the driver must still undergo a short period of suspension before entry into this program (30 days), and furnish DMV with proof of insurance(the SR-22 form) and proof of installment of the interlock device.

Also, the device must stay on the vehicle for the remaining eight months. However, after four (4) months of no lock outs or alcohol readings, DMV will allow you to remove the interlock device.  It can be removed only with permission of the DMV. Previously there was no restricted license available if you refused to take a breath or blood test for alcohol. The revocation was for one year, with no driving at all. Now, the same procedure as above applies to a first time offender except that the waiting period is 60 days. This is a significant change in the law that benefits drivers.
Another change is that if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .150 you must keep the interlock installed for one year. The level used to be .170 and it has been lowered. This is another significant change in the law.

Please note that the interlock device is only for your personal car, not a vehicle you drive at work. The restricted license, as a general rule, applies only to your personal vehicle. You are not allowed to drive a company vehicle with a restricted license (because there is no interlock device installed upon that vehicle).


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JAMES M. EDWARDS, P.C. is a general practice law office with an emphasis on personal injury matters. I also handle traffic matters, criminal cases, insurance questions, and domestic relations matters. My office is located at 1401 17th Street, Suite 330, Denver, CO 80202 (303) 293-8191. Initial consultations are available at no cost.

Copyright 2014, James M. Edwards, P.C. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this article may be reprinted or republished without permission of the author. The article is meant to advise the reader of general legal principles and trends. It is not case specific legal advice. If you would like further information, or would like to see a specific topic addressed in a future article, please contact the author.


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