You’ve just left a friend’s place or your favorite pub when you see them- blue lights in your rearview mirror. The police may have very well had a section of highway or an intersection staked out, just waiting for you to slip up.
The stop will be based on an alleged infraction under Colorado’s traffic laws, including driving on the center line, swerving to correct the course of your vehicle, or even a burned out tail light. The officer will tell why you have been pulled over, and then he will ask if you have had anything to drink.
You are not required to answer the question or say anything. Silently present your license, registration, and proof of insurance to the officer. Furthermore, it is recommended that you not take any of the roadside sobriety tests- they are not required. All roadside sobriety tests, including the eye test and portable breath test are voluntary.
It will feel very unnatural to say nothing when the officer continues to ask you questions. It is, however, your constitutional right to not incriminate yourself. Any evidence of your alleged impairment should not be offered by you. Even if you have had a drink or two, you do not have to admit this.
If the officer believes that there is probable cause to do so, he or she will arrest you. Now, you must decide whether to submit to the blood test or the Intoxilyzer breath test.
You do not have to take either of these tests. However, it is likely that your license will be revoked for a year if you refuse these tests. If you submit to the tests, and are over the limit, you will likely lose your license for 90 days on a first offense.
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Under the Colorado Express Consent Law, it is assumed that anyone driving the roads of Colorado has also consented to have their blood alcohol content level evaluated if a law enforcement officer deems probable cause. By this virtue, the DMV has the right to revoke your license for refusal to submit to the test. Even if you have not committed a DUI, the DMV can, and most likely will, take your license away for refusing to take the chemical test. Additionally, if your case goes to trial, a refusal can make it look like you had something to hide.
Regardless of whether you submit to one of the tests, you have a right to an administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles to decide if your license will be revoked. You are entitled to retain your license until the date of your hearing if you request one. It is important, however, that you do not mix alcohol and automobiles before your hearing, as penalties for multiple offenses get serious quickly.
It is your constitutional right to refuse to take a DUI test in Colorado, however, you must make this judgment call.
Contact Our Boulder DUI Defense Attorneys
If you have been arrested for DUI in Boulder or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to know that there are ways you can fight these serious charges. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious DUI charges.