Vail Attorney for Chain Law Violations

truck tire chainsIf you’ve received a violation of Colorado’s state chain laws in Eagle County, here are the steps you must take to resolve your issue:

  1. Contact An Experienced Chain Law Violation Lawyer Immediately. If you have been cited for a violation of Colorado’s chain laws, you need to reach out to an experienced chain law violation attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer knows Colorado’s chain laws inside and out and will be able to identify any potential weaknesses in the case against you.
  2. Determine What Defenses You Might Have Available To You. You may have been unfairly fined, or your chains or alternative traction devices may have been in compliance with the law but you were cited on a technicality. Maybe you were on your way to a designated chain up station and were stopped. Perhaps you missed or were not notified that the chain laws were in effect. Maybe you are from out of town and had no idea Colorado even has chain law requirements. Whatever the case may be, your chain law violation lawyer will be able to identify the possible defenses that may be available to you.

If you’re from outside of Eagle County, you likely don’t have the time or energy to deal with this. Call us, and we’ll deal with it for you.

An Overview of Colorado Chain Laws

In Colorado, commercial vehicles driving on Interstate 70 (I-70) between Dotsero (mile marker 133) and Morrison (mile marker 259) are required to carry sufficient chains during the half of the year when wintry weather can strike, making the roads very dangerous to drive on. Between September 1 and May 31, Colorado’s chain carrying laws are in effect and commercial vehicle drivers must stop and put the chains on in the event of snow or other dangerous wintry driving conditions.

Drivers are notified that the chain laws are in effect when electronic message roadside signs indicate that the laws are in effect. Alternatively, drivers can call 511 for travel information, can visit, or can find out when the law is in effect by watching the local television news.  When a driver is notified that the law is in effect, the driver is obligated to stop at the nearest chain-up station to put the chains on the tire.

Compliance with chaining up the tires on a commercial vehicle depends on what type of commercial vehicle is being chained and what chain law is in effect.  Chain laws exist in two levels:

  1. Chain law level 1/Code 17. Level 1 chain laws are implemented anytime that there is snow covering a part of the roadway on an ascending grade. When level 1 chain laws are in effect, all single drive axle combination commercial vehicles are required to chain up, which means that all four of the drive tires must be chained in order to be in compliance. Cables may not be used.  Furthermore, all other commercial vehicles are required to have chains or snow tires.
  2. Chain law level 2/Code 18. Level 2 chain laws are implemented when snow covers an entire portion of an ascending grade, or when weather conditions are such that chains are clearly required. When level 2 chain laws are in effect, all commercial vehicles are required to use chains. To be in compliance with the level 2 chain law:
    1. Single drive axle and tandem drive axle commercial vehicles bust chain the four drive tires.
    2. Buses must chain two drive tires.
    3. Autotransport vehicles must attempt to comply as best as possible without causing damage to hydraulic lines.
  3. Chain Law Code 15 – Passenger Vehicles. It is important to note that as a general rule, passenger vehicles are not required to have chains, except for in rare instances where the weather conditions dictate that tire chains on passenger vehicles are necessary. At minimum, passenger vehicles are required to have snow tires, or studded snow tires with a tread depth of ⅛ inch or more, or alternatively, passenger vehicles must have four wheel drive engaged, snow chains, or other approved traction devices in place, when weather is dangerous.

Potential Consequences for Chain Law Violations in Colorado

The consequences for a chain law violation in Colorado involve various fines and surcharges and depend on whether the vehicle is designated as a commercial vehicle or as a passenger vehicle. The fines can also depend on whether the lack of chains ultimately causes an accident that creates a blockage of traffic.

For Commercial Vehicles In Violation of Colorado’s Chain Laws:

For Passenger Vehicles In Violation of Colorado’s Chain Laws:

Don’t wait. We can help you get chain law violation resolved so your can get back to what matters.

If you’re from outside of Eagle County, you likely don’t have the time or energy to deal with this. Call us, and we’ll deal with it for you.