Colorado Teen Driving Laws and Enforcement

Under Colorado’s Graduated Driver Licensing program, a number of restrictions on teen driving apply. Drivers under the age of 18, who have not had a driver’s license for more than six months, cannot transport passengers under the age of 21. The only exceptions to this rule are in the cases of emergencies and if the passengers are siblings. In addition, drivers under the age of 18

•    Cannot have more than one passenger under the age of 21 in the car at a time until the driver holds a valid driver’s license for one full year
•    Cannot have more than one passenger in the front seat
•    Cannot have more passengers in the car than seatbelts
•    Cannot drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless the driver’s license has been effective for one full year

A driver under the age of 18 may drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. if accompanied by apparent or guardian. He may also driver between these hours unaccompanied if, according to E Orum Personal Injury Law:

•    He is driving from school or a school-authorized activity
•    There is a medical emergency
•    He is driving to or from work with a signed statement from the employer
•    The driver is emancipated

All teen drivers must carry proof of insurance at all times, obey all traffic laws, and should not drink and drive, ever.

If the driver violates any of the above restrictions he will lose his license for a set amount of time to be determined by the courts. He will also have to perform community service, pay fines, lose points on his license, and insurance carriers will choose not to cover you, which means, you will not be allowed to drive on Colorado roads, period.

Colorado Cell Phone Use/Texting While Driving Laws

The state of Colorado passed a new cell phone law in 2009. House Bill 1094 prohibits teens under the age of 18 from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. Teens and young adults over the age of 18, but under the age of 21 are allowed to use a cell phone equipped with a hands-free accessory. Violation of Colorado’s cell phone law will result in a class A traffic violation. For a first offense, you will have to pay a $50 fine, plus a $6 surcharge. For a second offense, you will have to pay a $100 fine and $6 surcharge.

It is important to note that teen driver’s that are driving with an instruction permit of any kind are prohibited from using any type of mobile communication device. You cannot text message or use a hands-free accessory – no matter how old you are.

Colorado Teen DUI Laws

In the state of Colorado, it is a crime for a teen to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) of 0.02% or higher. A BAC of 0.02% is as little as one beer, one glass of wine or one mixed drink for most people. It can be even less for some. Proof of a BAC of 0.02% is all that is needed to convict a Colorado teen of DUI. If you get caught driving with a BAC of 0.02-0.05%, your license will be revoked on the spot for a minimum of 30 days, followed by a suspension period of 60 days for a total of 90 days. If your BAC is over 0.05% and less that 0.08%, your license will be revoked on the spot for 90 days.  Second time offenders will lose their licenses for 120 days and third time offenders will lose their licenses for a full year. In addition to losing your license, you may have to pay fines ranging from $300 up to $1,5000, perform 56-120 hours of community service, and you could also spend time in a juvenile detention center – especially for multiple offenses.

Colorado Teen Auto Insurance Requirements

In the state of Colorado, your teen auto insurance policy must include minimum liability coverage of 25/50/15. This is equal to $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $15,000 per accident for property damage. Because of the increased accident risk during a teen’s first year behind the wheel, and because Colorado is no longer a No-Fault state, Colorado insurance companies will recommend that driver’s consider carrying significantly higher coverages than the state minimums. If you plan to add a teen driver to your policy, keep in mind that your annual rate will increase anywhere from $1,200 to $4,900 a year – or an average of $2,171 a year.

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