The DUI Process

Illuminated lights on top of a police car and text reading The DUI Process


The 2 Paths of the DUI Process

If you have been arrested for a DUI, you may be confused about what will happen to your driving privileges and what will happen with court. It is important to understand that these are two separate and distinct paths of the process in the aftermath of a DUI arrest. Each path has its own timeline and requirements.

The two paths following a DUI are the Administrative Process, through the DMV, and the Court Process is through the judicial system. Each path operates independently from each other. You can learn more about the two separate paths below. Both paths may require alcohol and drug treatment education.



The Administrative Process

External DMV building showing signage of the Colorado Dept of Revenue Driver License

Reinstating Your Driving Privilege 

The effect a DUI has on your driving privileges is determined by the Legislature and administered by the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You have the opportunity to request a hearing with a DMV hearing officer and the arresting officer before restrictions go into effect.

mydmv.colorado.gov. Click the Driver/ID Services tab, and find the link under Appointments and Hearings.


The DMV Administrative Process

The Court Process

Judge's gavel on a desk with handcuffs on top of file folders

The Judicial System

The criminal penalties for a DUI are created by the Legislature and enforced by the Colorado Judicial Branch – the Courts. Your DUI case will be submitted to the local district attorney’s office, which will prosecute the case. When you are arrested for a DUI, you will receive a Uniform Summons and Complaint (Summons), which starts your court process. You will be required to appear in court and enter a plea.

The court process is separate from the Administrative Process and has a different timeline. Findings in one process have no effect on the other. The court may impose fines, jail time, treatment programs, restitution, or probation if you are found guilty of DUI.


Learn more at No DUI Colorado


For information about how to reinstate driving privileges,
call DMV Driver Services at