In September, Patrick Schumacher was contacted by police when witnesses reported a DUI of sorts. Schumacher was riding his horse to get to his brother’s wedding when it was reported that he was drunk while riding his horse. Schumacher was not charged with a DUI. While Colorado has laws against driving a motor vehicle, a boat and even a bicycle while drunk, there is no law specifically addressing riding a horse while drunk. Schumacher was charged with reckless endangerment, animal cruelty and prohibited use of a weapon. These are all misdemeanor offenses. Schumacher was scheduled for court on Friday, but failed to appear which is the reason the judge issued the bench warrant.
While Schumacher’s driver’s license may have been safe from DMV consequences initially, he may now suffer some consequences. Generally, when a person is charged with a DUI for driving a motor vehicle, the blood alcohol level or refusal is reported to DMV. DMV then has the authority to revoke your driving privilege. Because Schumacher was not charged with a DUI, DMV did not intervene. However, because he has now failed to appear, DMV may place a hold on his license until he appears for court.
The difference between having your driving privilege revoked for a DUI and having it revoked for an outstanding warrant is that the driving privilege can be reinstated as soon as the warrant is addressed. Addressing the warrant does not require that the case be fully resolved, but rather, just requires an appearance in court. In contrast, if your driving privilege is revoked for a DUI, then the revocation lasts for a specific period of time.
If you have a hold on your license, but are not sure why, it is possible that you missed a court date. Judges have authority to issue bench warrants for something as simple as a traffic ticket.