If you are arrested under suspicion of DUI in Colorado, you are legally obligated to comply with a test of your breath or blood. Either test will be used to determine the level of alcohol that’s present in your system, measured as blood alcohol content or BAC.
Drivers who test at or above a BAC of 0.08% – or if drugs are found in their system – are in violation of Colorado’s DUI laws and considered to be driving under the influence. That said, drivers who test below this threshold but display other symptoms of inebriation can also be charged with DUI.
Do I Really Have to Submit to a Blood or Breath Test?
Yes. Under Colorado’s “express consent” law, you must submit to a DUI chemical test of your breath or blood when you are arrested for DUI. If you have a Colorado driver’s license, you already consented to this testing in the event of your arrest for DUI.
Note that the express consent law only applies once you are taken into police custody. This means that you are still not obligated to blow on a Breathalyzer or perform any sort of field sobriety test unless you are arrested.
Consequences of Refusing a DUI Breath or Blood Test
If you are in police custody and refuse to provide a sample of your breath or blood, you will face penalties whether or not you are ultimately convicted for DUI.
Some of the penalties for refusing these tests include the following:
- One-year automatic suspension of your Colorado driver’s license
- Designation as a “persistent drunk driver” in Colorado, even if this was your first arrest
- Mandatory participation in an education and treatment program for drugs and alcohol
- Submission to an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for at least one year after your driving privileges are restored
- Mandatory requirement to carry SR-22 insurance
Should I Take the Chemical Test?
If you are arrested for DUI and are told you must submit to a chemical test, immediately invoke your right to an attorney and seek legal guidance on how to proceed.
This is a situation where there isn’t really a right answer that works for everyone. Depending upon your situation, it may be advantageous to test or not test, but only a qualified legal professional can provide you with that guidance during such a critical time.
We at Orr Law Firm can provide such guidance and assist clients like you with your DUI case. If you’d like to learn more about our services, we encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible.