Colorado Express Consent (DUI) Revocation Hearings must be held within 60 days of the request pursuant to CRS 42-2-126. The Hearings Division loses jurisdiction over the case after 60 days. There are a few exceptions to the 60 day time limit such as the unavailability of the law enforcement officer or unavailability of the hearing officer. However, there are no exceptions for the unavailability of the respondent or respondent’s lawyer. If the hearing is rescheduled beyond the 60 day time period due to the unavailability of the law enforcement officer or hearing officer, the respondent driver’s temporary permit shall continue until the new hearing date.
Colorado case law has held that a hearing must not only be scheduled, but actually held within the 60 day time period. In the 1989 Colorado Court of Appeals case of Wilson v. Hill, 782 P.2d 874, the Court held that the department’s failure to hold the Express Consent Revocation hearing within 60 days required dismissal of the action. If the 60th day lands on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the Hearings Division can still hold a timely hearing outside 60 days if the hearing is held by the end of the next business day. The date the respondent requests the hearing is not included in the calculation of the 60 days. In other words, the Hearings Division gets a full 60 days after the date of the request to hold the hearing. Bottom line is that it’s important to always check the date of the hearing to make sure that it’s within 60 days of the request. If it’s not within 60 days, a motion to dismiss is critical.
Although the hearing must be held within 60 days, there is no statutory requirement that the Hearings Division actually render a decision within 60 days. Sometimes hearing officers “take matters under advisement” for days or even weeks beyond the hearing before rendering a decision in a case.
A respondent driver must request an Express Consent Revocation Hearing within 7 days of the date of notice (indicated on the Express Consent Affidavit and Notice of Revocation). It’s important to note that this 7 day period includes weekends and holidays. Thus, it’s critical for a respondent driver to immediately request an Express Consent Revocation Hearing upon receipt of the Affidavit and Notice of Revocation to avoid any possible miscalculations.
There are some exceptions for timely requesting a hearing within the required 7 days. These exceptions include when a respondent was unable to make timely request due to lack of actual notice of the revocation or factors of physical incapacity such as hospitalization or incarceration. If a late hearing request is granted, however, the respondent driver will not receive a temporary permit to drive on up until the hearing.