Anyone who operates a motor vehicle in the state of Colorado needs to be familiar with expressed consent laws. If you’re not familiar with expressed consent laws, it will be difficult to defend your rights if you are ever suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.
What is Expressed Consent?
The law states that all drivers that operate motor vehicles in Colorado must consent to chemical testing if they are ever arrested by a police officer who has probable cause to believe they are intoxicated. Drivers who are believed to be under the influence of alcohol must consent to either a blood or breath test, while drivers who are believed to be under the influence of drugs must consent to a urine test. This law is referred to as “expressed consent” because it is assumed that any driver who operates a vehicle in Colorado has consented to these terms.
In most cases, drivers that are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol will get to choose between a blood or breath test. But, be sure to choose carefully. Changing your mind and asking for the other test can be considered a refusal. The test must be performed within two hours of the arrest or the results may not be valid.
What Are the Penalties For Refusing A Test?
There are penalties for refusing to consent to a chemical test. First-time offenders will have their driver’s licenses suspended for a period of 12 months, but this doubles to 24 months if this is the second time you’ve refused to take a test.
Drivers who refuse to take the test could face additional penalties if they are convicted of DUI. Even though a test was never performed, the driver can still be convicted based on other evidence gathered by the arresting police officer. For this reason, it’s important to understand that refusing the test does mean you will not be charged with DUI.
Sometimes, a driver does not have the right to refuse to take a test. For example, if a driver injures or kills someone while he is believed to be under the influence, law enforcement has the right to physically restrain the driver in order to perform a test.
If you have been charged with DUI, seek legal representation from a criminal defense attorney right away. Regardless of whether you refused the test or not, the attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will fight tirelessly for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.