How to Report Reckless Driving or Suspected Intoxicated Drivers in Colorado

How Colorado Defines Reckless Driving

According to the Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1401, reckless driving is defined as follows: “A person who drives a motor vehicle, bicycle, electrical assisted bicycle, or low-power scooter in such a manner as to indicate either a wanton or a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. A person convicted of reckless driving of a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall not be subject to the provisions of section 42-2-127.”

Common Types of Reckless Driving

Here are some examples of reckless driving:

  • Speeding excessively
  • Tailgating
  • Racing other cars
  • Ignoring traffic signs and signals
  • Not letting people pass
  • Passing illegally

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Denver

For the first reckless driving offense, motorists may face:

  • a $150-$300 fine
  • Ten to 90 days in jail

For the second reckless driving offense, motorists may face:

  • a fine of $50-$1,000
  • Ten days to six months in jail

Reckless driving convictions may also add eight points to the driver’s driving record, which can result in an increased insurance rate and/or license suspension.

Reporting Colorado Drivers

According to the Denver Post, more than 600 people died in Colorado driving collisions last year. The number of deaths caused by auto collisions is up by eleven percent (11%) from 2015’s numbers –making it the highest number of deaths caused by car crashes in a decade.

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Of the more than 600 deaths, 380 were in cars, sports utility vehicles, or trucks, 125 were motorcyclists, and 84 were pedestrians.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has reported everything from distracted driving, like texting, and talking on the phone –to- the lack of seatbelt use as the cause for the increase in driving fatalities.

How to Spot an Impaired Driver

Considering the many crashes and fatalities on the Colorado roadways in the past few years, being safe is of the utmost importance. If you spot a driver that appears to be impaired or is driving aggressively, you can dial “CSP” or “227” for the Colorado State Patrol dispatcher.

Give the dispatcher the exact location, to the best of your ability by giving the road and the direction that the driver was on, a description of the vehicle, and how the driver was maneuvering the vehicle.

Signs that a Driver may be DUI

The Colorado State Patrol has listed some tips on how to spot a drunk driver. If you see any of the following behaviors, report the driver to CSP immediately:

  • Appearing to be drunk (e.g. eye fixation, face close to the windshield, drinking in the vehicle);
  • Almost striking an object;
  • Turning with a wide radius;
  • Driving significantly under the speed limit for no obvious reason;
  • Accelerating rapidly;
  • Weaving, swerving, or drifting;
  • Responding slowly to traffic signals;
  • Turning abruptly or illegally;
  • Braking erratically or stopping without cause;
  • Tailgating;
  • Straddling the center of the lane or driving with the left tires on the center lane;
  • Responding slowly to traffic signals; or
  • Driving at night with the headlights off.

Any one of these things performed alone and briefly, could just be an accident, however, if you spot a driver whose behavior displays many of the above characteristics or who is consistently doing it, then it may be best to report them to CSP.

Additional Resources

Colorado Department of Revenue-Division of Motor Vehicles – The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provides several services, including the processing of driver’s license, identification cards, and vehicle registrations. The DMV also provides educational tools to ensure driver compliance with Colorado state law.

Division of Motor Vehicles
1881 Pierce St.
Lakewood, CO 80214
T: (303) 205-5600

Report a Traffic Accident | Denver Police Department — Drivers involved in traffic accidents are required under Colorado state law to give their names, addresses, and vehicle registration information to all other persons who are involved. Unless an “Accident Alert” has been declared, the drivers must stop and report the crash to the local police agency by calling the local district police station or 911. You can immediately report an accident through this website.

Denver Police Department
1331 Cherokee Street
Denver, CO 80204-4507
T: (720) 913-6010

Denver Open Data Catalog: Traffic Accidents — You can download traffic accident data for the city and county of Denver on this website. Based on the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), the data on this website is dynamic, meaning it is subject to change because additions, deletions, and modifications are allowed at any time.

Colorado State Patrol –Visit the Colorado Official State Web Portal under the Colorado State Patrol –Department of Public Safety, created to ensure a safe and secure driving environment for all persons by being a leader in public safety utilizing honor, duty, and respect.

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