Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42. Vehicles and Traffic § 42-2-101. Licenses for drivers required

(1) Except as otherwise provided in part 4 of this article for commercial drivers, no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has been issued a currently valid driver's or minor driver's license or an instruction permit by the department under this article.

(2) No person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state if such person's driver's or minor driver's license has been expired for one year or less and such person has not been issued another such license by the department or by another state or country subsequent to such expiration.

(3) No person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has in his or her immediate possession a current driver's or minor driver's license or an instruction permit issued by the department under this article.

(4) No person who has been issued a currently valid driver's or minor driver's license or an instruction permit shall drive a type or general class of motor vehicle upon a highway in this state for which such person has not been issued the correct type or general class of license or permit.

(5) No person who has been issued a currently valid driver's or minor driver's license or an instruction permit shall operate a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state without having such license or permit in such person's immediate possession.

(6) A charge of a violation of subsection (2) of this section shall be dismissed by the court if the defendant elects not to pay the penalty assessment and, at or before the defendant's scheduled court appearance, exhibits to the court a currently valid driver's or minor driver's license.

(7) A charge of a violation of subsection (5) of this section shall be dismissed by the court if the defendant elects not to pay the penalty assessment and, at or before the defendant's scheduled court appearance, exhibits to the court a currently valid license or permit issued to such person or an officially issued duplicate thereof if the original is lost, stolen, or destroyed.

(8) The conduct of a driver of a motor vehicle which would otherwise constitute a violation of this section is justifiable and not unlawful when:

(a) It is necessary as an emergency measure to avoid an imminent public or private injury which is about to occur by reason of a situation occasioned or developed through no conduct of said driver and which is of sufficient gravity that, according to ordinary standards of intelligence and morality, the desirability and urgency of avoiding the injury clearly outweigh the desirability of avoiding the injury sought to be prevented by this section;  or

(b) The applicable conditions for exemption, as set forth in section 42-2-102 , exist.

(9) The issue of justification or exemption is an affirmative defense.  As used in this subsection (9), “affirmative defense” means that, unless the state's evidence raises the issue involving the particular defense, the defendant, to raise the issue, shall present some credible evidence on that issue.  If the issue involved in an affirmative defense is raised, then the liability of the defendant must be established beyond a reasonable doubt as to that issue as well as all other elements of the traffic infraction.

(10) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (1) or (4) of this section is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.  Any person who violates any provision of subsection (2), (3), or (5) of this section commits a class B traffic infraction.

(11) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a second or subsequent conviction under subsection (1) or (4) of this section, when a person receiving such conviction has not subsequently obtained a valid Colorado driver's license or the correct type or general class of license, shall result in the assessment by the department of six points against the driving privilege of the person receiving such second or subsequent conviction.


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