2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 42 - Vehicles and Traffic
Regulation of Vehicles and Traffic
Article 4 - Regulation of Vehicles and Traffic
Part 14 - Other Offenses
§ 42-4-1409. Compulsory insurance - penalty - legislative intent

CO Rev Stat § 42-4-1409 (2016) What's This?

(1) No owner of a motor vehicle or low-power scooter required to be registered in this state shall operate the vehicle or permit it to be operated on the public highways of this state when the owner has failed to have a complying policy or certificate of self-insurance in full force and effect as required by law.

(2) No person shall operate a motor vehicle or low-power scooter on the public highways of this state without a complying policy or certificate of self-insurance in full force and effect as required by law.

(3) (a) When an accident occurs, or when requested to do so following any lawful traffic contact or during any traffic investigation by a peace officer, an owner or operator of a motor vehicle or low-power scooter shall present to the requesting officer immediate evidence of a complying policy or certificate of self-insurance in full force and effect as required by law.

(b) As used in this section, "evidence of a complying policy or certificate of self-insurance in full force and effect" includes the presentation of such a policy or certificate upon a cell phone or other electronic device.

(4) (a) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section commits a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense. The minimum fine imposed by section 42-4-1701 (3) (a) (II) (A) shall be mandatory, and the defendant shall be punished by a minimum mandatory fine of not less than five hundred dollars. The court may suspend up to one half of the fine upon a showing that appropriate insurance as required pursuant to section 10-4-619 or 10-4-624, C.R.S., has been obtained. Nothing in this paragraph (a) shall be construed to prevent the court from imposing a fine greater than the minimum mandatory fine.

(b) Upon a second or subsequent conviction under this section within a period of five years following a prior conviction under this section, in addition to any imprisonment imposed pursuant to section 42-4-1701 (3) (a) (II) (A), the defendant shall be punished by a minimum mandatory fine of not less than one thousand dollars, and the court shall not suspend such minimum fine. The court or the court collections' investigator may establish a payment schedule for a person convicted of the provisions of subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section, and the provisions of section 16-11-101.6, C.R.S., shall apply. The court may suspend up to one half of the fine upon a showing that appropriate insurance as required pursuant to section 10-4-619 or 10-4-624, C.R.S., has been obtained.

(c) In addition to the penalties prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (4), any person convicted pursuant to this section may, at the discretion of the court, be sentenced to perform not less than forty hours of community service, subject to the provisions of section 18-1.3-507, C.R.S.

(5) Testimony of the failure of any owner or operator of a motor vehicle or low-power scooter to present immediate evidence of a complying policy or certificate of self-insurance in full force and effect as required by law, when requested to do so by a peace officer, shall constitute prima facie evidence, at a trial concerning a violation charged under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, that such owner or operator of a motor vehicle violated subsection (1) or (2) of this section.

(6) A person charged with violating subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section shall not be convicted if the person produces in court a bona fide complying policy or certificate of self-insurance that was in full force and effect as required by law at the time of the alleged violation. The court clerk's office may dismiss the charge if it verifies that the person had a valid policy in effect at the time of the alleged violation using the uninsured motorist identification database created in section 42-7-602.

(7) Repealed.

(8) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2003, p. 2648, § 7, effective July 1, 2003.)

(8.5) If an operator of a motor vehicle or low-power scooter uses a cell phone or other electronic device to present evidence of a complying policy or certificate of self-insurance in full force and effect, as described in paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of this section:

(a) The law enforcement officer to whom the operator presents the device shall not explore the contents of the cell phone or other electronic device other than to examine the operator's policy or certificate of self-insurance; and

(b) The law enforcement officer to whom the operator presents the device and any law enforcement agency that employs the officer are immune from any civil damages resulting from the officer dropping or otherwise unintentionally damaging the cell phone or other electronic device.

(9) It is the intent of the general assembly that the moneys collected as fines imposed pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (4) of this section are to be used for the supervision of the public highways. The general assembly determines that law enforcement agencies that patrol and maintain the public safety on public highways are supervising the public highways. The general assembly further determines that a clerk and recorder for a county is supervising the public highways through his or her enforcement of the requirements for demonstration of proof of motor vehicle insurance pursuant to section 42-3-105 (1) (d). Therefore, of the moneys collected from fines pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (4) of this section, fifty percent of these moneys shall be transferred to the law enforcement agency that issued the ticket for a violation of this section. The remaining fifty percent of the moneys collected from fines for violations of paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (4) of this section shall be transmitted to the clerk and recorder for the county in which the violation occurred.

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