If you are new to Colorado or you have never been charged with driving under the influence, you might not have any idea what the Express Consent Law is that DUI statutes operate under in this state. This law means that if an officer has enough reasonable doubt to suspect that you are driving under the influence, you will be required to undergo a blood or breath test after your arrest to determine your BAC, or blood alcohol content. This test has to be administered within two hours of when you last operated a vehicle and you will be given a choice between the blood and breath test. However, keep in mind that once you choose, you will not be able to change your mind.
Before an arrest, the officer might ask if you will agree to take a preliminary sobriety test. This test is used to establish the officer’s probable cause that you are driving under the influence of alcohol. However, this test is not mandatory and under no circumstances should you be forced to take it.
What is the BAC Test?
In the United States, you are considered to be legally intoxicated if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than .08 percent. If you are pulled over while driving and the officer believes you to be intoxicated, they can administer a BAC test. As mentioned above, Colorado offers two different types of BAC tests, blood, and breath. Urine tests are less accurate than these other two tests and therefore are offered less often, but are available in certain states nonetheless.
What If You Refuse To Take the BAC Test?
There are a number of different penalties you can receive when you refuse to take a blood or breath test after you have been arrested on a DUI charge. However, the officer cannot force you to take the test after your refusal. If your DUI incident led to the injury of yourself or another individual, the officer can, however, physically restrain you in order to take the chemical test.
License suspension penalties are often used when people refuse to take their BAC test and can include the following:
First offense: 12-month suspension
Second offense: Two-year suspension with early reinstatement after 12 months
Third offense: Three-year suspension with early reinstatement after 12 months
Contact a Lawyer You Can Trust
Being charged with a DUI is an extremely serious crime and this is why you need to know your rights ahead of time. If you are pulled over for drunk driving, it is always best to cooperate with the police to prevent yourself from being charged with additional crimes. However, it is also important that you know you have a dependable lawyer you can rely on when you end up behind bars. In Loveland, the Law Offices of Loomis & Greene are here to help you in any way we possibly can if you find yourself in this sort of situation. Contact us as soon as you are able to make a call from jail and we will help you to navigate this difficult time.