Colorado Speeding Laws

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Basic Speed Rule: No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.  COLO. Sec. 42-4-1101(1)

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined between $15 and $100, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined between $10 to $300,
  • sentenced to jail time of between 10-90 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended not more than one year.

Basic Speed Limits

  • 65 MPH on the interstate system
  • 55 MPH on an open highway not on the interstate system
  • 30 MPH in a residence district
  • 40 MPH on open mountain highways
  • 25 MPH in a business district  
  • 20 MPH on narrow, winding mountain highways or blind curves

Possible Defenses

In Colorado you may be able to make three possible defenses to speeding:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Point System

A driver's license is subject to suspension if the driver accumulates either 12 points within 12 consecutive months or 18 points with 24 consecutive months.  For provisional drivers, suspension would occur if they accumulate either 9 points within 12 consecutive months, 12 points within any 24 consecutive months or 14 points from the time the provisional license was issued.  In the case of minor drivers, suspension would occur if they accumulate either 5 points within 12 consecutive months or 6 points from the time the license was issued.  For chauffeurs, suspension would occur if they accumulate (while in the course of employment) either 16 points in 1 year, 24 points in 2 years or 28 points in 4 years. 

The following points are assigned for speeding violations.  Three (3) points for going 5 to 9 MPH over either the reasonable and prudent speed or 5 to 9 MPH over the maximum lawful speed limit of 75 MPH.  Four (4) points for going 10 to 19 MPH over either the reasonable and prudent speed or 10 to 19 MPH over the maximum law speed limit of 75 MPH.  Six (6) points for going 20 to 39 MPH over either the reasonable and prudent speed or 20 to 39 MPH over the maximum law speed limit of 75 MPH.  Twelve (12) points for going 40 MPH or more over the reasonable and prudent speed or 40 MPH or more over the maximum law speed limit of 75 MPH.  Three (3) points are assessed for a failure to reduce speed when a special hazard exists.  And, 3 points are assessed for other moving violations.  No points are assessed for going 1 to 4 MPH over either the reasonable and prudent speed or 1 to 4 MPH over the maximum law speed limit of 75 MPH. No points can be assessed against a person's driving record if the original citation was issued via an "automated vehicle identification system."

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