Driving in a dangerous manner can cause you to face fines and jail time. In Colorado, reckless driving is a class two misdemeanor. You may receive a conviction for reckless driving if you operate a vehicle with an intentional disregard for the safety of other people or property.
Some examples of reckless driving include driving at excessive speeds, playing a game of “chicken” or cutting off other vehicles while speeding.
Penalties for reckless driving
Reckless driving charges come with several potential consequences. A first offense may get you up to $300 in fines and 90 days in jail. Subsequent offenses can come with up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail. A conviction also adds points to your driving record and may increase your insurance rate. Depending on how many points you already have on your record, a conviction may result in a license suspension.
Reckless and careless driving are not synonymous, according to Colorado state law. Careless driving is essentially a lesser form of reckless driving. Careless driving means operating a vehicle in a careless manner without regard for the size of the vehicle, corners, traffic, or use of streets or highways. The line between the two offenses is not always clear, but generally, careless driving is considered negligent while reckless driving is more harmful.
The fines and incarceration penalties for careless driving are the same as those for reckless driving. That said, your driving record takes on fewer points.
Another common term relating to criminal driving offenses is “wet reckless.” This term describes when a defendant facing DUI charges plea bargains down to a reckless driving charge.
If careless or reckless driving results in any injuries or deaths, the charges become much more serious. These cases may involve harsher fines and longer jail sentences.