The law in Colorado requires a person arrested for a DUI to submit to a breath or blood test. Under the state’s “expressed consent” law, if there is probable cause that you have been driving under the influence, then you automatically consent to a chemical test of your blood or breath. The same goes if you are suspected to be under the influence of drugs, in which case you submit to a urine test.
The test needs to be taken within two hours of when you last drove, but you can choose which kind of test you wish to take. However, the 2 hour rule can be waived in "extraordinary circumstances" that affect timely collection and testing. Extraordinary circumstances can include weather-related delays, medical personal delays, power outages, and malfunctioning breath test equipment. Once you have chosen the test you want, you can’t change your mind. Changing your mind is considered refusing the test, which can lead to additional penalties.
In addition to your expressed constant, Colorado law also states that you consent to a “preliminary” breath test, even in situations where you have not yet been arrested. This is essentially a field sobriety test that the officer will use to establish probable cause that you were driving under the influence.
Refusing to take a blood or breath test can result with your driver’s license being suspended. A first refusal results in a one year suspension, while the second results in a two year suspension. If you refuse three or more times, your license will be suspended for three years.
Although you can’t usually be forced to take a mandatory blood, breath, or urine test, there are situations where police can physically restrain you in order to take the test. This can happen in situations that caused injury or death to yourself or another person. Tests can also be administered if you are unconscious or dead, even if you haven’t been arrested.
Do you have more questions about blood test consent laws? Contact our Denver team of DUI attorneys to get assistance today.