Getting arrested for impaired driving in Colorado comes with a number of stressful consequences. You may have spent a night in jail and will face varying penalties depending on your previous criminal record. You also need to look at the wider implications that a DUI conviction could have on your life.

In addition to the risk of criminal penalties, there are administrative penalties associated with impaired driving offenses. Simply put, the state will suspend your license. For many people charged with a DUI, it is the loss of their driving privileges rather than the fines or potential jail time that has the most dramatic impact on their life.

Thankfully, it is possible to request a probationary license, which some people also call a red license given its appearance. A probationary license will help you retain some of your driving privileges.

What does a probationary license allow you to do?

When the state suspends your license, that means you become completely dependent on other people or possibly public transportation to get yourself and your family where you need to be. That dependence can pose substantial hardship for your family and possibly put your job at risk if it results in frequent tardiness and your boss isn’t very forgiving.

When you secure a red license, you will have restrictions on your right to drive. These include restrictions on where you drive, such as only allowing you to go to and from work and your home. While those restrictions may seem frustrating, they are still a better option than losing your license entirely. Abiding by them is the only way to protect your red license until your suspension is over.

What happens if you violate the terms of your probationary license?

If the police pull you over while you have a probationary license and they determine that you aren’t on your way to a place you have permission to travel to, the officer in question could retain your red license and effectively have it terminated. In fact, you can lose your red license for a traffic ticket even if you comply with the restrictions.

In that situation, you do not usually have the opportunity to regain a probationary license. Instead, you will have to serve the rest of your suspension without any driving privileges whatsoever. Clearly, it’s best to comply with the restrictions rather than risk the total loss of your driving privileges.