Monday, March 25, 2019

CLA Aurora, Colo. — The Colorado Limousine Association (CLA) hosted more than 20 individuals on May 17 for its membership meeting at Athenian Restaurant.

President Dianne Cavendar of DDG Classic Limousine opened the meeting with introductions and some housekeeping items before turning the floor over to Doug Pooley of Colorado Limousine and Jody Cowen of Carey Denver. Pooley, who also has a legal background, and Cowan had some good news to share with those in attendance: With Pooley acting as Cowan’s attorney, they successfully fought to eliminate the Denver herdic laws that have been plaguing operators for years.

Denver’s herdic laws—borrowing a name for 19th-century carriages—are municipal ordinances that mandate all for-hire vehicles operating within the city have a herdic license, which Pooley is not alone in finding outdated and unnecessary.

“It’s more of a revenue-producing measure because they give you a Mickey Mouse test that virtually anybody can pass, but the more onerous part of it is that they charge you about $100 to get the license, plus a $50 issuing fee, plus you or your company have to pay a Denver Occupational Head Tax for however long a driver can claim they have been driving for them, so it’s really a Catch-22 measure rather than a safety measure,” Pooley said. “But it’s been declared unconstitutional by the court.”

Their efforts began by fighting two tickets issued for being in violation of the herdic laws at the county-court level, arguing that the laws violate an operator’s constitutional rights. The county court denied the motion to dismiss twice and found both ticketed drivers guilty; an appeal filed to the Denver District Court took almost a year to reach its final ruling, which came through on May 13. The laws were then declared not only unconstitutional but also unenforceable.

“We argued the unconstitutionality issue on the basis that Colorado Constitution said that a local ordinance can be effective if it only deals with local issues and doesn’t affect statewide issues,” Pooley said. “In short, state law trumps the local ordinance. So the court basically ruled that state laws dealing with chauffeured transportation and commercial transportation are so paramount that a local ordinance will not stand.”

While the district court’s ruling is immediately effective, the city of Denver has a 30-day period to file an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, which is a possibility.

The meeting also included presentations by and updates from guest speakers Denver International Airport’s Manager of Ground Transportation Mike Percy, Rocky Ahmann of Limo Anywhere, and Jim Luff of Chosen Payments, whose drawing left Marco Contreras of A Advantage Limousine $100 richer.

The next CLA membership meeting will be held July 12.

Visit cololimo.org for more information.

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