Colorado cracks down on out-of-service order violations

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Colorado has passed a new law that increases the penalty for violating any out-of-service order, whether federal, state or local, or under Canadian or Mexican law. Any driver convicted of violating an out-of-service order will face a mandatory court appearance and license suspension.

The law is an attempt to comply with a mandate by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, says Sgt. Mark Savage, public information officer for the Motor Carrier Safety Division of the Colorado State Patrol. A driver found to be violating an out-of-service order first is issued a citation by the state patrol, Savage says. He then faces a mandatory fine ranging from $100 to $1,000 and/or jail time from 10 days to 12 months.

Once a violator is convicted and sentenced by the judge, the state Department of Revenue is notified, and the CDL is suspended. Suspensions will be determined depending on the number of convictions but will be set automatically at the maximum. Drivers then can request an administrative hearing to have the length of their suspension reduced.

First-time offenders will have their license suspended for 90 days to one year. The same violation within 10 years of the original violation will result in a one- to five-year suspension. Those who have a third conviction within 10 years of the original violation will have their licenses suspended for three to five years.

Hazmat haulers and drivers with endorsements to transport more than 16 passengers will face suspensions double the regular amount. These stiffer penalties for individuals are separate from any potential penalties for companies that violate an out-of-service order, Savage says. These are civil penalties issued by the state patrol that have been in place for several years.

For more information on the new law, call Savage at 303-273-1875.