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Teenage Driving Resource Center

Drivers under 21 make up approximately ten percent (10%) of the driving population in the United States.  According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2015, approximately 2,333 teenagers between 16 and 19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes. In 2014, approximately 221,313 went to emergency rooms for injuries suffered in motor vehicle collisions.  Statistically, young drivers are some of the most vulnerable drivers on the roadway because they tend to be less likely to fully appreciate the consequences of irresponsible driving.

The importance of parents talking to their children about the privilege of driving on Colorado roads, and the seriousness of safe driving, cannot be understated. This article provides a list of resources that parents and teenage drivers can use to understand many of the traffic laws that apply to underage drivers.


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Information Center


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Safe Driving

Parents should talk with their children about the importance of driving safely. Of even greater importance is showing your children your safe driving habits when you are driving. 

Teenage Drivers –The Facts – Visit the Center for Disease Control website for more information on motor vehicle crashes across the United States that involve teenagers. Find information on the risk factors and the behavior that puts teens at risk. The website has information on how parents can talk about safe driving with their children and why it is important to have the conversation.

Trends in Teen Driver Licensing – The Journal of Safety Resource discusses the substantial declines in the proportion of licensed high school seniors to the increases in the proportion of non-drivers following the U.S. recession. The Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey provides nationally representative annual estimates of licensure and driving patterns among U.S. teens.

Reducing Risks for Teen Drivers – Visit SafeKids.org, a website created by Safe Kids, a nonprofit organization that works to help families and communities keep children safe from injury. With support from the General Motors Foundation, Safe Kids examined the various situations the ultimately lead to teen car collisions. Also, find out more about what parents are doing to make a difference.


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Colorado Resources

Teen Driving Restrictions – Visit the Colorado Department of Transportation to find more information about teenage driving restrictions such as curfews, mandatory seatbelts, cell phones and texting bans. Find the top tips from Colorado driving schools and parenting advice for informing kids about driving.

Getting Your Colorado License – Visit the Department of Revenue's Division of Motor Vehicles to learn more about getting your Colorado driver’s licenses as a teenager.

Colorado Driver’s Handbook – Visit the Colorado Department of Revenue's Division of Motor Vehicles website to find Handbook was created as part of the state’s continuing commitment to safety on the roads and fostering smart and safe responsible driving on the roads of Colorado.

Minor Driver’s License – Visit Colorado's Division of Motor Vehicles to learn more about what minors between the ages of 16 to 21 need to do to obtain their Colorado driver’s license.

Teen Driver Safety – Visit Drive Smart Colorado for more information about statistics on teen death through to unsafe driving methods. Find out information about teaching teenagers to manually drive, a general brochure for parents who have teenage drivers, and more important lessons on driving safely.


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Criminal Driving Offenses in Colorado

Not only is driving safely and responsibly imperative for young drivers, but it is also important to understand the various driving offenses that are accompanied by more than civil citations. Below is a list of criminal traffic infractions that every young driver should know more about.

Class 1 Misdemeanor Driving Offense:

  • Speeding -- § 42-4-1101
  • Knowingly Engaging in a Speeding Contest -- § 42-4-1105
  • Careless driving -- § 42-4-1402 (2) (b) and § 42-4-1402 (2) (C)
  • Accidents Involving Death or Personal Injury -- § 42-4-1601(2)(a)

A Class 1 Misdemeanor is punishable by up to twelve months in jail and up to $1,000 fines.

Class 2 Misdemeanor Driving Offenses:

  • Driving without a License -- § 42-2-101(10)
  • Driving under the Influence -- § 42-4-1301
  • Reckless Driving -- § 42-4-1401(2)
  • Accidents Involving Damage -- §42-4-1602(1)
  • Striking an Unattended Property -- § 42-4-1604
  • Duty to Report Accidents -- § 42-4-1606(6)

Class 2 Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to $300 fines. 


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Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Approximately 2,000 underage drivers die of driving under the influence each year. In most states, including Colorado, zero tolerance laws lower the blood alcohol content (BAC) level for underage DUI to .02% from .08.

Additionally, with Colorado being one of only eight states and the District of Columbia, that has legalized marijuana, explaining the consequences of driving under the influence of marijuana to teenage drivers is imperative.

Legal Summary for Colorado Drunk Driving - Visit the website Tornado State.org for an article that provides information on the administrative penalties for driving under the influence, as well as the various statutes for being charged as a habitual traffic offender.

Legal Limit for Marijuana DUI - Visit No DUI Colorado to find pertinent information about the Colorado legal limits for driving under the influence of marijuana along with the penalties for conviction.


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Find an Attorney for a Drunk Driving Accident in Denver, CO

If you or someone you know has a teenage driver who would like to know more about how to prepare his or her child for the Colorado roadways, contact our office or visit our website.

Jennifer Donaldson is an experienced personal injury attorney in Denver, CO, who represents victims of auto collisions. As a personal injury attorney, she sees, first hand, the problems that can arise with young people driving in a negligent or careless manner.

Prevent your child from being civilly or criminally liable for reckless or negligent driving by talking to them about the seriousness of safe driving.

Call Law Office of Jennifer L. Donaldson at (303)-458-5000 now for more information about how distracted or careless driving on Colorado roadways can lead to criminal or civil liability.


This article was last updated on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

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