Talking on a Cell Phone & Texting While Driving in Colorado

Read about Colorado’s distracted driving laws and the costs of a violation.

Colorado's distracted driving laws prohibit text messaging for all drivers and talking on a cellphone for only certain drivers. This article discusses the specifics of what the laws prohibit and the costs of a texting or cellphone ticket.

Talking on a Cell Phone While Driving in Colorado

For most Colorado motorists, there are no restrictions on talking on a cell phone while driving. But for underage drivers there are restrictions.

Handheld Cell Phone Use Allowed for Adult Drivers in Colorado

In many states, drivers who are at least 18 years old can use a cell phone while driving so long as it's hands-free operation. But in Colorado, even handheld cell phone use is permitted for adult drivers.

Cell Phone Use Prohibited for Minor Drivers in Colorado

For motorists who are under the age of 18, Colorado law prohibits using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. Notably, there's no exception for hands-free or voice-operated technologies.

Exceptions to Colorado's Cell Phone Ban for Underage Drivers

The underage cellphone ban doesn't apply to calls made to contact a public safety entity or during an emergency.

Fines and Points for Cell Phone Tickets in Colorado

An underage cellphone ticket is a class A traffic infraction and costs $50 for a first offense and $100 for a second or subsequent offense. The violation will also add one demerit point to the motorist's driving record.

Texting While Driving in Colorado

Texting while driving is illegal for all Colorado drivers, regardless of age.

Colorado's Distracted Driving Law

Colorado's distracted driving law makes it illegal to use a wireless telephone for text messaging (or other similar forms of manual data entry or transmission) while operating a motor vehicle. However, police are allowed to cite motorists for texting only if the violation caused the motorist to drive in a "careless and imprudent" manner.

Exceptions to Colorado's Texting Ban

The texting ban doesn't apply to using a wireless telephone to contact a public safety entity or during an emergency.

Fines, Points, and Jail Time for a Texting Ticket in Colorado

Standard violations. Generally, a texting ticket is a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense and carries a fine $300 and four demerit points.

Injuries and deaths. Texting violations that lead to bodily injury or the death of another person are class 1 misdemeanors and carry ten days to one year in jail and/or $300 to $1,000 in fines. The driver will also be looking at four traffic violation demerit points for the ticket.

Charges Related to Distracted Driving in Colorado

Depending on the circumstances, a texting or cell phone violation could also lead to a reckless driving conviction. And if one of these violations results in the death of another person, vehicular homicide charges are a possibility.

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
Get Professional Help

Talk to a Traffic Ticket attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you