Chemical Tests And Refusals

When you are asked to take a Chemical Test of your Blood or Breath:

The information below is for informational purposes only, this is not legal advice. You must make your own decision or hire a lawyer to advise you (before getting stopped). Under the Express Consent laws in Colorado you agree ahead of time when you obtain a Colorado driver’s license to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath when asked by a law enforcement officer who suspects you are driving either under the influence of alcohol or a drug; or driving impaired by alcohol or a drug. There are three (3) things I would like to discuss about taking a chemical test:
  1. If the officer asks you to complete either a blood or breath test, and you comply, and the government is unable to conduct the test for whatever reason (i.e. the person drawing your blood cannot find a vein; the Intoxilyzer is not working, etc.) all through no fault of your own; then you can STOP. You have done your duty under the law.
Often when the law enforcement officer cannot go through with the test you picked first, he or she asks if you would then submit to the other kind of test. If you do, you are doing more than required under the law. If you simply say “no”, then you are not refusing as you already have cooperated and satisfied your requirement.
  1. Often clients tell me that when the law enforcement officer explains Express Consent to them they get scared when the officer says that if the driver “Refuses” a chemical test, then his or her driver’s license will be revoked for a year. This scares the driver as they do not want to go a whole year without driving. Well, here is the rest of the story.
Even people who submit to tests have their license “revoked” for a period of time. The part you are not being told is that like anyone else who does submit to a chemical test, you can get “early reinstatement” with the benefit of an Interlock device when you refuse chemical testing. With a refusal you must go sixty (60) days of “no driving” where the people who do take a test, will have to go thirty (30) days of “no driving”.
  1. Refusal. By refusing you do not hand over to the government evidence that they will use against you to prosecute you for DUI. What happens is most people seem to have a chemical test of .15 or higher. When your chemical test is .15 or higher, you must have the Interlock device in your vehicle for 24 months. If your chemical test result for alcohol is .149 or lower, then the minimum you have the Interlock is 4 months.
If you REFUSE testing……. you also have the Interlock device for 24 months. So, you are just as punished for refusing as people who cooperate and have a test result of .15 or higher, which most people have. THEN, also, if you have a chemical test result of .20 or higher; you are now facing serving ten (10) days in jail.